BISMARCK, N.D. — Northwest Tire Inc. in Bismarck has rebounded from a "terrible" first half in 2020 as the local populace preps their cars and RVs for vacations that were sidelined during the pandemic.
"I think people have had enough of the pandemic and everybody wants to travel," Northwest President Dan Pearson told Tire Business.
"It seems like everybody is getting ready for a trip and they are buying campers and they are buying boats and all the outdoor recreational stuff. Consumer confidence is good."
Overall sales last year fell 6% from 2019, he said, but 2021 sales are on pace to increase 22% above 2020 and 10% above 2019.
"I think, because people wants to travel, they are more apt to spend money fixing their cars. All the people that worked from home, sat at home for over a year and their cars sat at home. And because people didn't travel, there's a little bit more disposable income," he said.
The dealership, which operates 23 retail and commercial locations in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, plans to add two stores in 2021 toward year-end.
About 65% of the dealership's sales comes from tires, and Mr. Pearson said the dealership has been increasing its inventory of all-weather tires — designed with the attributes of an all-season tire along with winter driving capabilities to earn a Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake designation.
"There's been a big shift the past couple of years from all-season tires to all-weather tires," he said, noting that people don't seem to understand the difference between the two types.