While Discount Tire easily leads the independent tire dealer pack nationally, its strength varies from region to region, based on Tire Business' analysis of the continent's leading retailers' relative regional positions.
Discount Tire is not the biggest outright in any single region, but it is ranked among the 10 largest in five of the 10 geographic zones tracked by Tire Business, including the No. 2 position in two regions.
Based on total outlets and retail sales volume, Bridgestone/Firestone continues to be considered the largest tire retailer in North America, and its strength shows up regionally as well. It ranks among the 10 largest retailers in all 10 geographic zones, including the top spot in five of the 10 with its Firestone Mastercare, Tires Plus and Expert Tire outlets.
Tire Business' regional breakdown is based on Rubber Manufacturers Association shipment data, natural geographic boundaries and the territorial spread of the major retailers' store networks.
Goodyear-with its Goodyear Auto Centers, Just Tires and Allied Tires chains-and Sears, Roebuck and Co. also show up in all 10 regional Top 10s.
TBC Corp.'s pending acquisition of Sears' National Tire & Battery (NTB) outlets will strengthen TBC's Tire Kingdom Inc. chain as a player in seven of the 10 regions. Tire Kingdom is the leading retailer in one region, South Atlantic, while TBC's Big O Tires Inc. franchise network operates the most outlets in the Mountain region and shows up in four regional rankings altogether.
Distribution strength among the leading retailers is most concentrated in New England and the Pacific regions, where the 10 largest retailers make up 30 and 29 percent, respectively, of retail tire outlets in those areas.
The Northwest Central (or Great Plains states) and Southeast Central are the least concentrated, with the 10 largest retailers accounting for only 11 and 12 percent, respectively, of those regions' retail tire outlets.