Pep Boys opens remodeled stores
PHILADELPHIA-Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack has remodeled 23 stores in the Chicago area as the automotive chain progresses in its efforts to turn around its retail business.
Pep Boys said each of the stores will celebrate grand openings starting in July. The stores ``focus sharply on providing customers with a wide range of basic automotive parts and automotive accessories and name-brand tires,'' the Philadelphia-based company said.
Pep Boys has similarly remodeled stores in markets including Jacksonville, Fla., Los Angeles, San Diego and Philadelphia. By 2007, the company plans to refurbish ``substantially all'' of its 593 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
In Philadelphia, remodeled Pep Boys stores ran a special on June 4, as well as a celebratory sale that month in conjunction with the grand reopenings. The first 150 customers that visited each Philadelphia-area Pep Boys location on June 4 received a free $10 Pep Boys shopping card.
STTC celebrates 50th anniversary
BETHLEHEM, Pa.-Service Tire Truck Centers Inc. (STTC) marked its 50th anniversary in June with a customer and supplier appreciation ceremony.
Walter Dealtrey Sr. founded the company in 1955 as Bethlehem Tire & Battery. The Goodyear-only dealership sold car tires and services. The name changed in the 1960s to Service Tire Co. as the retail business spread beyond Bethlehem. The company made its debut in the commercial tire business in 1967 when Service Tire Truck Centers opened a Bandag Inc. retread franchise. The consumer tire stores were sold to the store managers in 1980.
The commercial dealership now operates 22 outlets in four states and three Bandag retread plants producing 800 retreads a day. It has 520 employees and runs 150 service trucks.
For the anniversary, the company hosted a customer and supplier party June 10. The event featured a Goodyear blimp, NASCAR drivers and the Bandag Bandit plus live music and food. The following day STTC hosted an employee appreciation event for workers and their families.
The company also plans to give away certain products or services each month during the year.
``It's our way of giving something back after all these years,'' said Walter Dealtrey Jr.
Mr. Dealtrey Sr. died in 2002. The company is headed by Mr. Dealtrey Jr., Ronald Bennett, Scott Bennett and Ed Betz.
2 NTB stores open in Texas
JUNO BEACH, Fla.-Tire Kingdom Inc. has opened two more National Tire & Battery (NTB) stores in Texas.
The store in Pasadena, Texas, opened June 18 and will be managed by Michael Crowhurst. It celebrated its grand opening July 1 with store specials, free food and prizes. A replica of Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 NASCAR race car also was displayed at the opening, Tire Kingdom said. The store operates 10 service bays and is open seven days a week.
A store in Cypress, Texas, also opened on June 25, a Tire Kingdom spokesman said.
The new stores join more than 45 NTB outlets TBC operates in Texas, according to the firm's Web site.
Juno Beach-based Tire Kingdom, a subsidiary of TBC Corp., operates the NTB chain as well as Merchant's stores. With the two additions, the Tire Kingdom group operates 612 total retail stores, 260 of which are branded as NTB, 108 as Merchant's and 244 as Tire Kingdom.
TWI expanding outlet's offerings
KEENE, N.H.-Tire Warehouse Central Inc. (TWI) is expanding its outlet in West Lebanon, N.H., to make room for automotive parts and accessories at the tire store.
TWI said a majority of its stores throughout New England already stock automotive parts and accessories, but building constraints at the West Lebanon outlet prevented the store from taking on the inventory.
``We are very excited to offer quality automotive products in the Lebanon area,'' said Robert Dabrowski, TWI's president and CEO. ``This will only enhance our ability to service our customers' needs.'' The company also plans to renovate the store's shopping area to be more convenient for consumers.
Tire Warehouse expects to complete the work this summer; meanwhile, the store will remain open during the construction.
Symons Tire joins Retread Bureau
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif.-Symons Tire Inc. in Bishop, Calif., recently joined the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB).
Owner Mike McElvogue has worked in the retread business for about 25 years, TRIB said. He has been a Bandag Inc. retreader for 17 years and is a certified Bandag master craftsman and repair specialist.
``We are delighted to have Symons Tire as a part of the TRIB family,'' said Harvey Brodsky, TRIB's managing director. ``They may be small in size, but their service can stand along(side) the biggest dealers.''
TRIB has more than 400 members in 31 countries.
Ken's Service remodels outlet
HANOVER, Md.-After reading a story in Tire Business about remodeling tire shops, Ken Cavin decided one of his locations could stand a little touchup.
Mr. Cavin, owner of Ken's Service Center Group in Hanover, said he set about remodeling a 14-year-old shop after the article ran in October.
``Not only has it been a big plus for my employees (i.e. working conditions, appearance, just an all-around plus), but my customers are also pleased and comment daily about how great it looks,'' Mr. Cavin wrote to Tire Business.
As part of the remodeling, he replaced large lifts with inground lifts, added new air and electric reels and gave the interior a fresh coat of paint. He said the inground lifts have improved the productivity of the technicians, with a noticeable increase in the amount of time saved on jobs. Mr. Cavin has since installed inground lifts at his three Goodyear Gemini outlets and a Valvoline Quick Lube shop he also operates
NETSA honors Bob Malerba
UNCASVILLE, Conn.-The New England Tire & Service Association (NETSA) has given its President's Award to longtime tire dealer Bob Malerba.
Mr. Malerba was honored during NETSA's annual trade show and convention April 16 in Uncasville.
A 30-year veteran of the tire industry, Mr. Malerba owned Malerba's Silver City Tire and Malerba's Tyre Man in Meriden, Conn., until May 2004. He sold the business to Bob Berlin, who changed the company's name to Berlin Bandag Inc. Mr. Malerba continues as vice president of the company.
``He is an inspiration to his peers,'' said NETSA President Spencer Carruthers.
Mr. Malerba is slated to serve as president of the Tire Industry Association with a term beginning in November.
Suburban Tire selects TreadX
GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill.-Suburban Tire Auto Car Centers has selected ASA Tire Systems' TreadX software to automate its business, the software company said.
Suburban Tire is an eight-outlet retail and wholesale dealership based in Glendale Heights, a Chicago suburb.
``We looked at many other products to handle both our retail and wholesale operations and none could match TreadX's unique combination of rich features and dependability,'' said Steve Leffler, a partner at Suburban Tire, in a statement from ASA.
Nashua, N.H.-based ASA Tire Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of ASA International Ltd.
Tire shop joins soccer clinic
GREENVILLE, S.C.-Superior Tire and Service participated in a youth soccer clinic May 21 as part of the Uniroyal Tire Julie Foudy Clinic Sweepstakes, sponsored by Michelin North America Inc.
Families associated with youth soccer leagues across the country registered in the sweepstakes, which had a grand prize of a free three-hour soccer clinic coached by Ms. Foudy, a three-time Olympic medalist. In addition, 100 first-prize winners also received an autographed soccer ball from Ms. Foudy.
The grand prize winner, selected earlier this year, was Brandy Kieschnick of Nederland, Texas, whose two daughters are involved in the Gulf Coast Youth Soccer Club.
Superior Tire of Nederland has partnered with the local soccer club for four years, donating more than $4,000 in funds and equipment to the league.
Michelin said Superior Tire organized a cookout on the field during the clinic.
``What an exciting event to have in our own backyard,'' said Jan Bromley of Superior Tire.
Michelin said it again will sponsor the contest this year.