BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. (May 29, 2013) — Bridgestone Americas' retail business unit expects to open 45 tire and automotive service centers this year in 16 states, pushing the firm's store network to more than 2,250 locations nationwide by year-end.
Bridgestone Retail Store Operations L.L.C. (BSRO), as the unit is known, already has opened 15 stores this year, in six states—Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin, the company said.
Those projected for the remainder of the year are scheduled to open in Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, North and South Carolina, Ohio and Washington.
Bridgestone did not disclose the stores' size or its investment but said the stores average 10 employees each. The company did not say which of its retail brand identities—Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, ExpertTire or Wheel Works—it plans to use for the new stores.
"We started strong in the first quarter and into the second, and our plans are to keep that momentum going through the rest of 2013," said Jim Blecha, vice president of real estate and assets, BSRO.
"In terms of company-owned tire and automotive service centers, we're the largest in our industry, and in the world," he continued. "It's important to us to expand our network, but even more important that we do it strategically, in a way that makes sense for our business and that will best serve the needs of our customers."
Bridgestone operates company-owned retail stores in 47 states and in Washington, D.C.
All locations will offer a variety of automotive services and products, including new tires and batteries, vehicle inspections, oil changes, alignments, air-conditioning services, brake work, engine repair and tune-up, transmission service and more.
The company's retail network is heavily involved in Bridgestone's "One Team, One Planet" environmental pledge to assure that for every tire it sells in the U.S., eventually one scrapped tire will be used for a valuable purpose.
The business unit also gets involved in philanthropic endeavors. In 2011, for example, Bridgestone raised more than $1.1 million for the Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) and the Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCF) through its Round Up Program, an in-store fundraising campaign.