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Las Vegas tire business shuts after owner dies

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LAS VEGAS—Scher's Superior Tire Inc., which does business as Bruce Scher's Goodyear, closed its 13-store operation in the Las Vegas area Dec. 17, following the death of the chain's owner, Bruce Scher.

Mr. Scher died in his sleep Dec. 4 at age 56, according to Richard Warburton, general manager of Scher's Superior Tire, who told Tire Business that 81 employees were laid off because of the closing. All customers who had vehicles at any of the Las Vegas shops upon closing had the work completed and the vehicles returned to them, he said.

Mr. Warburton noted the closing of the Las Vegas locations does not impact Riverside, Calif.-based Scher Tire Inc., a separate chain of 17 tire and auto service stores in Southern California that Mr. Scher owned. Those stores will remain in operation.

Mr. Warburton said he is marketing the closed Nevada shops to other Goodyear dealers in order to maintain Goodyear's presence in the market. Any inquiries can be sent to him at rich@vegasgoodyear.com.

A Santa Ana, Calif., native, Mr. Scher spent his life in the automotive industry, having come from a family that owned and operated an automotive business in Los Angeles, where he worked during his childhood. He moved on to work at a new car dealership before accepting a position with Goodyear as an automotive technician at the tire maker's Santa Ana store, which he eventually came to own.

On Dec. 15, 1981, then 25-year-old Mr. Scher opened his first tire and auto service shop, a Goodyear store in Artesia, Calif. The small, four-bay outlet had been underperforming and unprofitable under Goodyear's ownership, but Mr. Scher managed to turn the business around, setting records for tire and service productivity at the location, according to the dealership's website.

In late 2003, Mr. Scher took over nine Superior Tire retail stores in Las Vegas from Goodyear, which had assumed operation of the 16-store Superior Tire chain earlier that year after Mountain View Tire & Service of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., opted out of a management contract deal to operate the stores in partnership with Goodyear.

Goodyear and TBC Corp. co-owned the 16-store chain, so they first had to work out between them what they wanted to do with the dealership. In the end, Goodyear retained nine stores and sold them and the Superior Tire business to Mr. Scher for an undisclosed sum. TBC kept seven stores and later turned over the leases on those locations to existing area franchisees of its Big O Tires Inc. subsidiary.
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