AKRON (June 12, 2006) — If you're a tire dealer who's been looking for the Monarch private label in the past year and have wondered if Goodyear discontinued the brand, you're right.
Officially, Goodyear has shelved the Monarch brand because it no longer fits in with the Akron tire maker's product screen, according to a company spokesman. Goodyear stopped making Monarch about a year ago, and the spokesman said there are no plans to bring back the label any time soon.
“Over time, we obviously have a lot of brands, and some you use and some you don't use at any given time,” he said.
Goodyear hasn't replaced Monarch with another private label either, which for a time put wholesaler Maynard & Lesieur Inc. of Nashua, N.H., in a bit of a dilemma because the distributor, which sold Monarch tires for more than 30 years, suddenly lost a brand it offered exclusively within its area.
“We had a gap where we didn't have anything to replace Monarch,” said Larry Lesieur, Maynard & Lesieur secretary. “We weren't sure where we were going.”
Although he said he doesn't think the wholesaler lost sales due to Monarch's discontinuation, Mr. Lesieur pointed out that people have associated the private label with Maynard & Lesieur for so long that the company had to scramble to replace it. Fortunately, he said the distributor still had a six-month supply of Monarchs it had bought on close-outs even after Goodyear stopped supplying the brand.
Mr. Lesieur said Goodyear offered the Lee and Republic private labels to his company as possible replacements, but other New England distributors and dealers already carried those brands.
“They wanted to give us the Lees, but Town Fair (Tire Centers Inc.) has Lees, and Town Fair has 50-some stores here, and they wholesale and they put in consignments,” Mr. Lesieur said. “I said, 'I can't do Lee.'”
What Maynard & Lesieur ended up doing was signing on to Tire Kingdom International's (TKI) Hallmark distributorship program after TKI mistakenly called Mr. Lesieur, thinking his company already was a Hallmark dealer. Naturally, TKI persuaded Mr. Lesieur to look at Hallmark—also manufactured by Goodyear—since its tread pattern is similar to Monarch, and offered Maynard & Lesieur a 50-mile territory.
TKI distributes Hallmark exclusively to independent dealers, another issue that caught Mr. Lesieur's attention. He said he only asked TKI for a 35-mile territory and was able to get that and a pricing program he liked. An added bonus is that no one else in his region is selling Hallmark.
“We're very happy with the pricing and the program,” he said. “It seems like it's getting us back some of what we were losing.”