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Average store count at 60; average sales revenue per dealership outlet: $2.65M

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AKRON—Despite vibrant merger and acquisition activity in the past year, the average size of a dealership listed in this year's Tire Business Top 100 retailers was unchanged at 60 stores.

The median size, however, dropped to 18 or 19 stores from 22 a year ago.

Throughout the year, 47 of the dealerships on this year's list expanded the number of outlets they operate, either by acquisition of existing businesses, buying closed auto service locations or building new stores. These 47 businesses added 345 stores to their networks, or an average of about seven per dealership.

At the same time, 20 dealerships closed or sold a total of 31 stores.

It took 11 stores to make Tire Business' top 100 list, which totaled 104 dealerships. In addition, Tire Business research reveals there are 63 more dealerships just outside the top 100 operating collectively nearly 530 stores—11 with 10 stores, 18 with nine, 16 with eight and 18 with seven.

The average sales revenue of a store—based on data from 55 companies that supplied sales information—was $2.65 million, up slightly from the $2.41 million reported a year ago, while the median store sales of the 55 companies that reported revenue was $1.56 million.

The typical dealership outlet derived 54 percent of its sales from tires, 45 percent from automotive service and 1 percent from other, miscellaneous sources, according to information derived from those dealerships that shared that information with Tire Business.

The share of a dealership's sales that automotive service represents ranges from zero (Discount Tire) to 88 percent (Car-X Tire & Automotive).

This breakdown is skewed more heavily toward automotive service than a year ago. Dealerships ranked this year average nearly 6.5 service bays per outlet, according to the data provided to Tire Business.

The typical Top 100 tire dealership offers 11 brands—seven flag, two to three import and one to two private—with Michelin, BFGoodrich and Goodyear the dominant brands, carried by 80, 78 and 73 dealerships, respectively, followed by Bridgestone (67), Continental (64), Firestone (61), Dunlop (55), Cooper (51), Kelly (48), Pirelli (47), Toyo (48), General (46), Hankook (44), Uniroyal (42) and Yokohama (40).

All but three of the 100 dealerships in this year's ranking are privately owned, including Somerset Tire Service Inc. and Ben Tire Distributors Ltd., which are owned by employees.

The three firms publicly owned or controlled by outside financial holdings—TBC Corp., Monro Muffler Brake Inc. and Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack—are among the six largest dealerships.

Additionally, Goodyear owns minority stakes in two Canadian dealerships, Coast Tire & Auto Service Ltd. and Fountain Tire Corp.

Eight of the dealerships in this year's Top 100 are affiliated with Tire Alliance Groupe (TAG), representing 300 outlets, while 20 are Goodyear Tire & Service affiliated, comprising 530 outlets and 18 are part of Michelin's Alliance program, with 402 stores.

In addition: there are four Car-X Tire & Auto franchisees, with 66 outlets combined; two Big O franchisees with 25 stores between them; and five affiliated with TCi's T3 program, comprising 112 outlets.

American Tire Distributors Holdings' Tires Pros network, which now numbers more than 500 locations, has just one dealer among the Top 100—Associated Tire Stores Inc., with 11 stores in Utah and Wyoming—since most Tire Pros dealers are smaller, one-, two- or three-store enterprises.

Looking at the market geographically, Bridgestone Americas' retail network—Firestone Complete Car Care and Tires Plus/Wheel Works—is the most prevalent name, with a presence in all 10 of the regional areas profiled by Tire Business, including being the largest in five regions—Southeast, Upper Midwest, Southeast Central, Southwest Central and Northwest Central.

TBC Retail Group shows up in eight of the 10 regions, including No. 1 in the Mountain region via its Big O Tires L.L.C. franchise network. Discount Tire/America's Tire, No. 1 nationally with 893 outlets, has a presence in seven of the 10 regions but is not No. 1 in any one of them.

Monro Muffler Brake is present in five regions, including being No. 1 in New England, Middle Atlantic and South Atlantic.

[See the thumbnail regional charts on pages 45-46 for the complete listings.]
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TB Reader Poll

Previous | Published March 18, 2019

Where can you expect to see the most growth in 2019?

Tire sales
45% (34 votes)
General automotive service
15% (11 votes)
Brakes, shocks and other undercar services
7% (5 votes)
Add-on business
15% (11 votes)
Anywhere we can get it.
19% (14 votes)
Total votes: 75
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