Mr. Marks also noted that "same store" or average purchases per member continue to grow, reflecting continued purchasing growth by existing members and engagement in more programs within the ITDG portfolio.
He called this metric a "testament to the strength of the programs and the support we receive from many of our partner-vendors.
"As they invest more in ITDG, we in turn invest more in them by increasing our purchases."
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the group to cancel its national dealer meeting earlier in 2021, the ITDG turned to regional meetings to provide both members and vendors the opportunity to interact, according to Chris Barry, sales director.
The ITDG held regional meetings in Atlanta in May, Phoenix in June and Denver in August, he said, but was forced to postpone meetings scheduled for California and the Northwest.
Mr. Marks said the regional meetings were well attended and allowed the group to conduct important business and solidify relationships.
The group plans to hold its next national dealer convention and trade show April 20-24 in Nashville, Tenn., at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.
New ITDG members thus far in 2021 are:
- AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah (31 locations);
- Ace Commercial Tire in Bothell, Wash.;
- Cowser Tire & Service, Forth Worth, Texas;
- Future Tire, Show Low, Ariz. (five locations);
- Garrrett Enterprises Ltd., Grand Island, Neb. (eight locations);
- Happy Valley Road Tires Inc., Phoenix (eight outlets);
- Knollwood Tire & Wheel, Broxton, Ga.;
- Northwest Tire Worx, Haden, Idaho;
- Pageland Tire County, Pageland, S.C.;
- Rossi Bros. Tire & Auto, Salinas, Calif. (six locations);
- Schneider Tire Outlet, Marne, Mich. (four outlets);
- Southern Tire Service, Metairie, La.; and
- Tandem Tire & Auto Service Inc., Dubuque, Iowa (six locations).
Mr. Barry noted the new members represent a mix of single- and multiple-outlet dealerships, a blend that reflects the existing membership roster as well.
A high percentage of new members come into the ITDG as referrals from existing members, Mr. Barry said. Nonetheless, the ITDG vets each new member candidate to ensure it'll be a good fit for both parties.
He acknowledged the list of new members is on the high side, noting that more and more smaller dealerships are looking for a business partner with the resources to help them succeed in an increasingly competitive market.
Besides tires, the ITDG offers its members products in eight other categories, including wheels, automotive fluids, auto parts, uniforms, etc., through 70-plus vendors.
Last year ITDG struck a deal with China Manufacturers Alliance (CMA) to provide access to Double Coin-brand truck/bus, OTR and industrial tires and Tianli-brand agricultural, forestry and construction tires.