WHITEVILLE- N.C. (June 27, 2002)-Black's Tire Service is getting bigger in racing and racing to get bigger.
The Whiteville, N.C.-based retail, wholesale and commercial tire dealership recently relocated its corporate offices to an 11-acre site that includes a 60,000-sq.-ft. distribution center and 8,000 square feet of office space.
The new facility has room to expand, said company spokesman Rick Benton II, whose father bought the company in the mid 1980s.
The company was founded by William Crowell Black just as the Great Depression was beginning. Apparently the mother of all economic slumps wasn't too much for the company to overcome. In the 70-plus years since, Black's has grown to 17 facilities.
They include 15 retail/commercial centers and two distribution centers—one commercial and one wholesale—scattered throughout southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina.
The company employs “close to 200,” Mr. Benton said, about 20 of whom work at the corporate offices. He noted that the new facility created a handful of new jobs.
“We've got a few more positions because it's so much more to handle,” he said. “But not a great big impact in terms of that, besides just having a few more hands to handle the merchandise coming in and out…It's a lot better for communication and organization. Those are the key ingredients there.”
The new center is in what had been a Lowe's home improvement store that Black's bought, then gutted to put in its warehouse and office space.
The warehouse stores all of Black's products, including Goodyear, Cooper, Roadmaster, Hallmark, Kelly, Dunlop, Ohtsu, Visa, Falken, Pirelli, Double Coin and Michelin brand tires.
Mr. Benton said the company sells everything from passenger and light truck tires to OTR and farm tires.
“We can now stock a lot more of the farm and OTR stuff, a lot more of the specialty tires,” he said. “We were so cramped in there before.”
Black's Tire also sponsors a two-car team in the USAR Pro Cup Series. Races, held in the Southeast, are televised nationally on Speed Channel and Fox Sports. Driven by Jason Sarvis, the company's sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo recently finished second in the Bi-Lo 250 at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
The Black's Tire Race Team currently stands second and third in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup points battle. Mr. Sarvis has moved up to second in the points standings; teammate Hal Goodson sits third.