There's something to be said for curb appeal, even for a tire dealership. But the building housing Trussville Tire & Service in Birmingham, Ala., takes that to a whole new level.
With its brick, steel and glass appearance, the 5,000-sq.-ft., eight-bay store is not only a stunning structure for a tire dealership but for a business of any nature.
The building received a Design-Build Award from the American Buildings Co. in a competition involving more than 1,000 building contractors in North America.
``It is (unusual) for a tire store,'' said Brian Murdock, co-owner of the one-store dealership, which was built from the ground up a year and a half ago. ``We get a lot of comments about it.''
Mr. Murdock said customers mention the building's appearance all the time.
So while he acknowledges it could have ``been a little cheaper'' to build, it was probably worth the extra expense. Mr. Murdock and partner Michael Robertson plan to open another store in a year or two, but Mr. Murdock isn't sure if it will be as dramatic as the first one.
For now, his 11 employees, who include two salesmen, two mechanics and seven general maintenance people, can enjoy working in their current luxurious digs.
The store sells Michelin, Uniroyal, BFGoodrich, American Radial, Bridgestone and Firestone brand tires. It also offers several brands of custom wheels.
The folks at Tires Inc. in Chehalis, Wash., were trying to think up ways to cook up some business. And they did-literally.
Co-sponsoring the ``Taste of Home'' cooking school at a local fairground with a local grocery store, the two-store dealership drummed up a customer or two.
The event drew more than 1,000 women (and a few men), who had a chance to take in a car-care clinic along with the cooking class. Debbie Mars, manager of the Gemini dealership, said several women have come in for service since attending the outing.
``We thought it would be a good way to get a crowd of women to learn more about what we do here,'' she said. ``It worked pretty well here.''
Tires Inc. is a seven-bay facility with an outdoor commercial lot and a Bandag retread plant. In nearby Tumwater is the company's other outlet, a commercial-only store. The company sells primarily Goodyear brands, along with Mastercraft. The retail store also sells custom wheels, mainly American Racing and Eagle brands.
The two stores combined employ between 35 and 40, Ms. Mars said.
Borg Tire Equipment & Supply is celebrating its 40th year in business as a supplier of retread and repair materials to tire dealers.
Today, the firm services more than 2,000 dealerships in California and northern Nevada from its three California locations.
Last year, Borg moved its headquarters from a 3,000-sq.-ft. facility in Sunland to its current 10,700-sq.-ft. building in Tujunga, said President Bill Falkenborg.
Borg's other warehouses are in Rancho Cordova and San Diego.