AKRON-Independent wholesalers Tire Wholesalers Inc. (TWI) and U.S. Tire & Exhaust are expanding their businesses with new warehouses that will extend their distribution reach.
Troy, Mich.-based TWI opened a warehouse in Kalamazoo, Mich., April 19 that is part of a long-term TWI strategy, the wholesaler said.
``We believe there is a significant shift happening in the tire industry,'' said TWI President Ross Kogel Sr. ``Wholesalers must expand their daily and just-in-time delivery services to stay competitive. Size proliferation and the tire dealer's limited warehousing space make timely delivery a crucial service for our customers. This new warehouse will help.''
TWI said it offers delivery services to all tire businesses in lower Michigan and is rapidly expanding its same-day and next-day delivery capabilities. The new distribution center marks TWI's fourth location in Michigan.
``We're pursuing a strategy to help Michigan's tire businesses stay competitive during these market shifts,'' Mr. Kogel said. ``Businesses need the right tire immediately. Sometimes that is a tire that they do not have in stock, and that is where TWI excels-delivering the tire they need right away.''
The Kalamazoo warehouse is the latest in a series of efforts the company said it has made to offer better service to Michigan's tire dealers. In 2002 TWI doubled its Troy warehouse to 80,000 square feet. The company also added same-day service-twice-a-day-to many businesses in the metropolitan Detroit area.
``The purpose of these strategies is to make our service better for customers of Tire Wholesalers,'' Mr. Kogel said. ``That, in the end, is our primary focus.''
U.S. Tire & Exhaust in Combined Locks, Wis., is opening a regional distribution center, its seventh, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the wholesale distributor said.
The company also has centers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri. U.S. Tire hopes the 19,000-sq.-ft. facility will help it increase market penetration in the key area. U.S. Tire is an American Car Care Centers Inc. distributor.
``We truly want to position our organization closer to our customers, now and into the future,'' said Randy Groh, director of marketing.
The warehouse will officially open May 24.
In addition, Philadelphia-based Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack will lease a 600,240-sq.-ft. distribution center in California to replace its current three-building complex in Los Angeles.
The building, in San Bernardino, Calif., will open in May 2005. It will serve 165 Pep Boys stores-151 in its existing service area and 14 in the Phoenix market. The new building is about 175,000 square feet larger than the existing complex, which the company said processes about 600,000 units weekly. The new facility's design allows for an expansion of another 200,000 square feet if needed.