Tire Kingdom's store total 345
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.-Tire Kingdom Inc. opened its 344th store, in Simpsonville, S.C., May 15, followed by No. 345 in Columbia, S.C., May 17.
Both outlets have eight bays and 6,600 square feet, the Riviera Beach-based tire retailer said.
The chain-which ended 2002 with 222 locations-saw a major boost this year with 110 locations added from parent company TBC Corp.'s purchase of Merchant's Inc. in Manassas, Va. Those stores now operate as a Tire Kingdom subsidiary.
The original $57.5 million acquisition included 112 stores, but two Merchant's commercial outlets since have been sold to McCarthy Tire and Automotive Service Centers Inc.
Other new stores for Tire Kingdom have been added along the way this year, including one in January that gave the chain its first entrance into the Charleston, S.C., market.
RJ's Tire & Auto expands in style
NACHES, Wash.-RJ's Tire & Auto Center earlier this year moved into a new, larger facility that owner Randy Juette said is designed to be attractive and pleasing to customers.
The 5,700-sq.-ft., four-bay facility in Naches includes a 1,200-sq.-ft. showroom plus a waiting area decked out with tile floors. The old, two-bay location-a former gas station-had been only an ``incubator'' for his business, Mr. Juette said.
``I know what a nice facility can bring,'' said Mr. Juette, who had worked for Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc. for about 16 years.
Another part of creating a favorable image is to get involved in the community, he said. Mr. Juette is a member of the local chamber of commerce's board, among other activities.
``You do unselfish things for selfish reasons,'' he said, laughing.
RJ's Tire sells Cooper and American Car Care Centers Inc.'s private brand American Radial tires, including passenger, farm and commercial tires. The new store has four service bays and a covered truck slab.
Among his services are those that started when his dealership began in the former gas station. Mr. Juette said he operates a dump station for recreational vehicles and sells propane-an endeavor that has become about 6-10 percent of his business.
``You've got to diversify,'' Mr. Juette said.
Commercial dealer adds service center
SEATTLE-Nichols Truck Tire Center plans to move into its fourth facility this month.
The 6,000-sq.-ft. truck tire service center in Woodinville, Wash., will offer 24-hour service, said General Manager Gene McCarl.
Mr. McCarl said the expansion comes with some new customers, giving the Seattle-based commercial dealership more coverage of the Puget Sound area. He said the dealership already had an established service network in the area.
``That's what created the opportunity for the (Woodinville) facility,'' he said.
The dealership sells Sumitomo, Yokohama, Kumho, Kelly, Goodyear and other brands.
Illinois tire shop changes hands
LA HARPE, Ill.-Steve Reed is the new owner of Clover Tire Shop in La Harpe after founder Arlin Clover retired May 1.
Mr. Reed, Mr. Clover's stepson, has worked at the one-outlet dealership since its founding about 25 years ago.
``Everything's going to pretty much stay the same,'' Mr. Reed said.
The dealership sells a variety of brands, including Remington, Michelin, Firestone, Goodyear and Cooper. Clover Tire handles passenger, light truck, farm and some commercial tires.
Mr. Reed said he is not planning any expansions to the three-bay shop or additional facilities.
Black's Tire will host golf tourney
WHITEVILLE, N.C.-Black's Tire Service plans to host the 3rd Annual Myrtle Beach Charity Golf Tournament June 13 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Boys & Girls Home of North Carolina, the Whiteville-based dealership said.
The Lake Waccamaw, N.C.-based charity provides out-of-home child care for at-risk children in residential care, family foster care and emergency care placement. Black's Tire has set a goal of raising $10,000 for the charity.
Black's Tire is organizing the event with RBR Enterprises, the racing organization sponsored and owned by the tire dealership. D&H Marketing, Jennie-O Turkey and the local Hooters restaurant also are partnering in the event.
``We use this charity golf tournament to kick off the weekend of action as we also present the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Race on Saturday, June 14,'' said Rick Benton, owner of Black's Tire.
The June 14 race, organized by United Speed Alliance Racing, will be at Myrtle Beach Speedway.