TONAWANDA, N.Y. (May 25, 2009)—Dunn Tire L.L.C. has retooled one of its stores in Tonawanda into a Dunn Tire outlet that not only sells the retail tire chain's new tire inventory but also discontinued, take-offs and used tires.
The location operated as Budget Tire for the past four years, but the store just didn't perform well as a stand-alone entity, according to Patrick Logue, managing director of retail operations for the Buffalo, N.Y.-based dealership.
So Dunn Tire, which operates 28 stores in New York and Pennsylvania, changed the location's name and operations in February to “operate more like a Dunn Tire store,” he said.
However, unlike its sister stores, the Tonawanda location is a smaller, two-bay operation that doesn't offer automotive service and is overseen by four employees. In addition to new tires, about 10 percent of its inventory includes discontinued lines, take-offs under the dealership's warranty program and high-tread used tires culled from the other Dunn Tire stores.
The discounted tires will be available only at the Tonawanda store, he said, so it may draw customers from other markets.
The dealership had been considering an outlet-type store for several years, Mr. Logue said. The location is in a lower-income, older neighborhood.
It's too early in the year to determine the store's sales data, he said, but if the outlet concept is successful, the dealership may consider launching it for other markets.
“Unfortunately in this economy it makes it even more attractive,” Mr. Logue said, although he surmised the concept would probably work in better economic conditions, too.
The dealership began promoting the outlet in the spring along with its other stores in advertisements and is focusing on publicizing it in local newspapers.
Meanwhile, Dunn Tire plans to open two more stores this year—one at an existing location in Buffalo and another in a newly constructed site in Syracuse, N.Y., later in the year, according to Mr. Logue.