By Kathy McCarron, Tire Business staff
HOUSTON — Christian Brothers Automotive Corp. unveiled a growth plan in 2008 with the goal of reaching 200 franchised auto repair shops by 2017.
With its 113th store slated to open in August — more than double the number in 2008 — the company is well on its way to meeting that target.
In fact, the franchisor, which was founded in 1982, expects to open an additional 10 stores, mostly in new markets, by year-end.
New stores, which the company builds and then leases to its franchisees, are planned for Tampa, Fla.; Indianapolis; Denver; Omaha, Neb.; Minneapolis; and Charlotte, N.C.
Christian Brothers — the company's name hearkens to the firm's basic Bible-based business philosophy ("Love your neighbor as yourself.") — invests about $1.5 million to $2 million to buy real estate and build a franchise store, while the franchise owner is expected to invest $360,000 to $420,000, according to Josh Wall, vice president, franchise and strategic development for Houston-based Christian Brothers.
He said the company has chosen to build all its stores to integrate its unique aesthetic design rather than renovate an existing building.
"We have explored doing a retrofit in several markets, especially in the last five or six years as, in certain markets, those can be the only options available to us," Mr. Wall told Tire Business.