Dave Snyder, senior vice president of Tire Centers L.L.C. (TCI), is ready for a new challenge.
The tire industry veteran, who has been a part of the wholesale tire distributor and commercial tire distributor/retreader since it was founded in 1986, will end his tenure with the company April 1 and take over TCI's six remaining stand-alone retail tire stores. For Mr. Snyder, the decision was about doing something different.
I took the (commercial distribution) division at TCI from 22 to 77 centers, increased the volume from a million and a half tires to 6.5 million tires in seven years, he told Tire Business.
We're now kind of at a peak where it's just a matter of running it and fine tuning, and I personally was ready to look for a new challenge.
The stores are located in Boulder and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Elizabethtown, Ky.; Newark, Ohio; Kansas City, Mo.; and Waukesha, Wis.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The six stores, which will be renamed DLS Tire Centers Inc., were part of the group of 115 former BFGoodrich retail locations with which TCI's founder Jim Berlin launched the company in 1986.
That number declined over the years as TCI, a subsidiary of Michelin North America Inc., shifted its focus to the commercial tire arena.
As TCI evolved, we became a different kind of company, Mr. Snyder said, noting that over the years TCI sold or divested nearly all of the original retail stores.
Somehow over the years we've had six retail stores that have just been there because they make a couple of bucks for us, but they don't fit the strategy of TCI at all, he said. TCI does not participate in trying to build retail business.
According to Mr. Snyder, the stores had been able to hold their own financially for many years, but a lack of management involvement and the economic recession have made them less valuable to TCI in recent years.
For the last couple of years the tone of the company has been, these stores are OK, but they're really not a profit generator for the company anymore, he said.
Mr. Snyder said one of the greatest motivating factors for him in buying the outlets was the idea of implementing TCI's T3 Certified Tire Centers affiliated dealer program for small independent retail tire dealers, which he helped to develop. The program has grown to more than 1,000 outlets since it launched in 2000.
We never used T3 at any of those stores, so I felt that by becoming an independent tire dealer and taking them on, I felt T3 could be a huge vehicle for me to improve the performance of these six stores, he said.
In his first year as owner of DLS Tire Centers, Mr. Snyder's strategy will be to provide the locations with retail management expertise and experience in terms of advertising, in terms of customer service, in terms of trainingall the ingredients that go into making it a successful tire dealership, he said.
He added that expansion is certainly in the company's future.
Once I feel like I can create that in the six stores I got, then I'll begin looking for additional opportunities where I can take that same kind of operation and look for expansion, Mr. Snyder said. Long term, I definitely want to expand way beyond the six.
This agreement is beneficial for both organizations, said TCI president and CEO. Joe Finney, It gives TCI the chance to focus completely on its commercial and distribution businesses, and it gives Dave, as a new customer of TCI, an opportunity to reach out and serve customers in these communities.
TCI's other main business is operating commercial tire centers and retreading tires. TCI operates 60 commercial centers and 10 retread plants in 15 states after selling 28 stores in the past year to independent dealers along the East Coast.
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