CINCINNATI — Tire Discounters Inc. has disclosed plans to open 19 stores in the coming 12 months, including seven stores in the Indianapolis metro area, a new territory for the Cincinnati-based retailer.
The new stores will expand Tire Discounters footprint to 135 stores in six states by this time next year. The first of the new stores in Indianapolis are scheduled to open before mid-year. Among the communities where stores are under construction are Carmel, Greenwood, Noblesville and Plainfield, Ind., according to the dealership's online store locator.
The company, the ninth largest independent retail tire dealership in the U.S. with 116 stores and 1,200-plus employees, did not disclose where else it's planning to open stores.
Tire Discounters has doubled in size since 2011, expanding southward into Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee along the way.
To support this aggressive growth strategy, the company is realigning and expanding its management team to "streamline responsibilities and maximize efficiencies."
"As we grow in stores, our leadership team is also adapting to meet the needs of our employees and business strategies," President Jamie Ward said.
"We can't achieve future years' objectives with previous years' efforts. We are evolving, adapting and getting in front of what is coming."
To prepare for growth, Tire Discounters over the past year has upgraded its digital platforms with projects such as a new warehouse management system, new learning management system, new phone system and new point of sale software.
"We've completed the first phase of our technology upgrades. We're now realigning our leadership team to we've gained with over the past year," Crissy Niese, senior vice president and chief customer officer, said.
Among the personnel changes are:
New recruit David Cahill assumes the newly established role of director of training, research and development. Mr. Cahill joined Tire Discounters at year-end 2018 from Safelite Group. He brings 25-plus years of automotive industry experience to his new job, which includes responsibilities for expanding the training program and leading innovation.
Chris Albertz, 17-year company veteran, was promoted in March to purchasing manager to help identify and incorporate new systems for improving merchandising and other store focused solutions.
Dave Chirello, who joined Tire Discounters last August, is promoted to division director of sales. His 25 years of retail automotive repair industry experience includes employment at Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack; Kauffman Tire; National Tire & Battery; and Jiffy Lube. He will oversee sales and operations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Eldon Riggs, who also joined the company last year, was promoted to director of retail operations, responsible for the company's expansion into the Indianapolis metro area. He came to Tire Discounters after a 25-plus year career with Tire Barn, another Indianapolis-area dealership.
In addition, Tire Discounters hired Aaron Eck, Jim Phillips, George Reynolds and John Ross as field leaders, tasked with supporting and leading new and existing markets such as Dayton, Ohio; Huntsville, Ala.; and Knoxville, Tenn.
These new hires bring 90-plus years of collective multi-unit automotive aftermarket experience.
Brandon Grubbs was promoted to director of commercial sales and service, leading business development for the Northern and Southern Divisions.
Tire Discounters' targeting of Indianapolis coincides with Belle Tire's push into the same territory. Allen Park, Mich.-based Belle Tire has opened nine stores in the Indy area in the past several months and has plans for 11 more in Indiana in 2019.
Ironically, Belle Tire recently Felix Canestri — vice present of purchasing at Tire Discounters for the past three years — as its director of procurement, overseeing Belle Tire's procurement procedures and growth plans.