Tire Group International Inc. (TGI) is close to finalizing a deal that would double its warehouse space plus give the distributor its first foray into retail tire sales.
CEO Tony Gonzalez said the Miami-based company should close its purchase of a 600,000-sq.-ft. warehouse by the end of May. TGI plans to occupy about 200,000 square feet for its wholesale operations and sublease or sell the remainder. TGI will phase out its existing 100,000-sq.-ft. warehouse-which it also owns-over the next year.
The move also will give the company a long-awaited chance to enter the retail market. Mr. Gonzalez said he has wanted to establish a retail arm, but he wanted it to be in the same facility as the warehouse. The retail store would be housed in a 15,000-sq.-ft. building on the same property as the warehouse, which is on one of the most highly traveled freeways in south Florida, he said.
The retail store will be dubbed ``All Tires and More'' and will initially carry Pirelli and Dunlop plus private and import brands including Astro, MRF and Delta. ``We'll definitely be looking at additional major brands,'' Mr. Gonzalez said.
He added that eventually he'd like to franchise the All Tires and More banner in Central and South America plus the Caribbean.
Once the retail store is up and running, TGI will establish an online ordering service through its Web site. More long-term plans include the possibility of a commercial tire service center within the new facility.
TGI has not yet set a formal timeline for some of the moves, but Mr. Gonzalez said he will move as quickly as he can. Still, owning both buildings offers some flexibility, he added.