NORWELL, Mass. (Dec. 8, 2006) — Sullivan Tire Co. Inc. has opened a store in Bedford, Mass., to replace one it is closing Dec. 9 in Burlington, Mass., after the firm lost its lease on the property.
Sullivan Tire had operated the store at the Burlington Mall for about 25 years, officials said. But earlier this year, Federated Department Stores Inc., which owned the land the building was on, said it planned to sell the plot to mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. to build a Crate & Barrel store.
Mark Gillard, marketing manager for Sullivan Tire, said Federated and Simon later offered a different parcel on mall property to the tire dealership, but a Sears Auto Center—which is also at the mall and a third owner—did not agree to the arrangement.
The Burlington location had been one of Sullivan Tire's most profitable stores. Norwell-based Sullivan Tire operates 45 stores in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Sullivan Tire's chances for building a new location in Burlington were very slim because of zoning laws that restrict automotive uses. The zoning laws are in place because the city is in an aquifer district, and it relies on the local groundwater for its public water supply, city officials have said.
Mr. Gillard said Sullivan Tire found a new site in Bedford, about one highway exit south of Burlington. That site, a former car dealership, opened two weeks ago, he said.
“We're going to hopefully divert some of the customers that way,” he told Tire Business.
The dealership plans to mark the Burlington store's closing with free holiday wreaths for the first 50 customers, clearance sales on tires, $25 gift certificates for the Bedford store and a contest for a free trip to Boston Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.