VANCOUVER, British Columbia — OK Tire Stores Inc. is committing $75 million (C$100 million) over the next five years to expand its distribution capabilities across Canada to support its drive to recruit new franchisees and grow market share.
The expansion project — the most significant in the company's 66-year history — will add more than 500,000 square feet to OK Tire's network of 11 regional distribution centers and provide a more robust online platform for the member-owned company to compete more effectively in e-commerce.
"Thanks to our dealers, we are experiencing phenomenal and consistent growth the past few years in our network on both the commercial and retail side," OK Tire President and CEO Jim Caldwell said.
The OK Tire franchise network has been growing by the past few years about 30 locations a year, Mr. Caldwell said, a pace the franchisor expects to continue for the coming five years or so. The network stood at 323 locations in early April.
"We are changing our business model to provide our dealers with everything they require to serve our customers' automotive needs better. Today's announcement marks the beginning of a new OK Tire as Canada's premier tire and auto service company."
In addition to expanding and improving the group's physical assets, OK Tire is working on its digital platforms as well with a goal of creating an online customer experience that parallels what customers get in the physical stores.
"Our objective is to future-proof our business," Chief Operating Officer Michael Rutherford said, "which is why we are installing state-of-the-art distribution systems at our new facilities.