Kubias expands, relocates shop
WARNER ROBINS, Ga.-Kubias' Service Center increased its size by 11,000 square feet and added nine service bays, but the big number for the dealership is the two miles it moved from its former location in Warner Robins.
Owner John Kubia said the expanded outlet-at 17,000 square feet with 16 bays-is closer to the city's main growth area, which includes a new mall and several chain stores.
``We went from a little business to a big business overnight,'' Mr. Kubia said.
The expanded store, which opened last fall, had been in the dealership's growth plans for about five years. Mr. Kubia said the increase in business since the opening is largely because of two reasons-location and design.
The store's visibility among the high-traffic shopping area was a big plus, he said. Additionally, the store was designed to look modern and upscale with eight bays on either side.
``It's a building that's attractive,'' Mr. Kubia said.
The 27-year-old dealership sells primarily Bridgestone but also Kumho and Goodyear brands. It is a Tire Starz dealer through American Tire Distributors Inc.
To market the new store, Mr. Kubia said the company focused on radio, print and especially television advertising.
``That's the best media that works for us,'' he said of television.
Other events aimed at getting potential customers in the store included an event for the local Corvette club hosted at the dealership.
About 50 people listened to talks by Bridgestone and ACDelco representatives, then watched as the dealership showed off its ability to service Corvette tires.
``We'll do more things like that,'' Mr. Kubia said.
Tire Discounters plans five stores
CINCINNATI-Tire Discounters Inc. is looking to break its new-store record this year by adding as many as five outlets in 2003, the company said.
With 31 current locations in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky, Cincinnati-based Tire Discounters has three stores under construction with another two to three to be added by year-end, said Rick Barnhart, vice president of operations. The in-progress stores are in Dayton and two others in Cincinnati suburbs.
The previous company record had been four stores, Mr. Barnhart said. While growth plans remain on track, he said the dealership is not looking outside of its general geographic area.
The new stores will be comparable to the company's other locations, with eight bays and about 6,000 square feet.
Mr. Barnhart said the Tire Discounters' growth can be partly attributed to its pricing policy of including most services in tire work. For example, he said the price of a tire includes the rotation and valve stem as well as a free alignment with four new tires.
``We had a significant increase (in sales) of tire units when we went to it, so we stuck with it,'' Mr. Barnhart said.
Tire Discounters, which is a member of American Car Care Centers Inc., sells Goodyear, Kelly, Continental, General, Toyo, Nankang, American and Michelin's MAST Alliance program's brands.
Dealer anticipating traffic from donuts
BELLINGHAM, Mass.-Glenn Gerrior, president of Charlie's Tire & Service Center, hopes he can get a Dunkin' Donuts store next to his 5,400-sq.-ft. shop.
But it's not for the morning snack. Mr. Gerrior expects the extra traffic from the popular donut shop will help grow his business.
Mr. Gerrior said the retail outlet still is seeing high traffic after a wave of promotions around its 25th anniversary in October.
The company gave away about $5,000 in prizes, including sets of tires, mechanical repairs and front-end alignments. Other events included Saturday afternoon cookouts, open houses and donuts in the morning.
``It did a lot for just boosting us up in the area,'' he said, adding many people who didn't even attend the events later came to the six-bay shop because they had noticed the commotion.
Mr. Gerrior's father started Charlie's Tire in 1977. His grandfather, Rene Pare, also had been in the tire industry, establishing Milford Tire Products, which is still in business.
Mr. Gerrior's father, who worked in his father's business, also celebrated his 50th anniversary in the tire industry in October.
``We had a lot of big anniversaries at that point,'' he said.
While Mr. Gerrior does not plan to open a new outlet in the near future, he has his sights on the Dunkin' Donuts shop. He owns the land next to his shop and plans to sell it to the donut chain as long as municipal approval is granted.
``That should help increase business dramatically,'' he said of the drive-thru traffic.
Charlie's Tire sells Jetzon, a private brand of Treadways Corp.'s Laramie Tire Division, as well as Michelin, Uniroyal and BF-Goodrich brands.