By Kathy McCarron, Tire Business staff
WATERTOWN, Mass. (July 23, 2015) — After nearly 18 years operating four stores in the Boston metro area, Direct Tire & Auto Service is preparing to build a fifth store.
The Watertown-based dealership said it is planning to break ground either this week or next for a 7,300-sq.-ft., eight-bay store in Medway, a suburb southwest of Boston. The site will be next door to a new Advance Auto Parts store.
“We are very excited about this long-awaited location and we hope to open on Nov. 1, 2015, just in time for our winter selling season,” said Direct Tire CEO Barry Steinberg.
Besides its original store, founded in 1974 in Watertown, Direct Tire also operates locations in Norwood, Peabody and Natick, Mass.
Mr. Steinberg said it was the right time and opportunity to open another store.
“The last time we opened an outlet was 18 years ago. I'm just pretty fussy when it comes to locations,” he told Tire Business.
“In the Boston market, real estate is just completely out of control. If there's a good location, either a CVS or Walgreen's (pharmacies) is buying it. It just escalated the price of real estate ridiculously. This one came up and I just jumped on it before anybody else did.”
He described Medway as a bedroom community of about 13,000 residents with a number of industries, R&D centers and warehousing and an average household income of about $100,000. And there is only one tire dealership competitor in town, Mr. Steinberg added. According to a Google search, that's Long Distance Tire & Auto Repair.
“The opportunity came along. It's a great location…. The market is in need of some competition out there. And for me, I'm celebrating my 40th year (in business) and 70th birthday — I need something to get me excited, so this is getting me excited,” he said.
The new store is being built on a wooded lot on busy Massachusetts Route 109. An Advance Auto Parts store is being built on the same property and will share a parking lot with the Direct Tire store — similar to Direct Tire's Norwood location.
“It works out really well,” Mr. Steinberg said. “Not that we do a lot of business with Advance,…but it brings a lot of traffic to the parking lot, which is good for us.”
Mr. Steinberg wouldn't divulge the price for the new building, which is designed with environmentally sound materials, including low-flush toilets and hand dryers in the bathroom, multiple windows, a high ceiling and lush landscaping.
He is already looking at additional locations.
“I'm always looking.… Boston is a big market. There could be 10 Direct Tires in my opinion.”