MIAMI — Online tire retailer Tirescanner.com Inc. said its business grew 400% in the first quarter of 2020 over the same 2019 period, with sales continuing to be strong in April and May.
The company, founded in late 2018 by online tire pioneer Mike Welch, did not disclose actual sales.
The company attributes its success to its recent initiative to recruit mobile tire installers to join the Tirescanner.com online-ordering system, a decision that enabled it to offer contactless service during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as its approach to delivering excellent customer care.
"Our growth demonstrates that although use of cars may have diminished, there is still a demand out there," Tirescanner CEO Mike Welch said. "Drivers are shopping differently and looking for convenience, service and a safer ways to shop for their tires, as well as great value."
Mr. Welch — founder of the Blackcircles.com online tire-buying service acquired by Group Michelin in 2015 — launched Tirescanner.com in late 2018, proclaiming it would become North America's first "online portal for brick-and-mortar tire retailers."
The service claims to have a network of over 3,500 independent garages throughout the U.S., plus more than 150 mobile vans in 35 states recruited since early 2020.
The Tirescanner.com mobile model is designed to allow customers to receive next-day, at-home installation of any brand/size tire.
"Thanks to our concierge approach to caring for our customers, we've been able to deliver exponential growth during this most challenging time," Mr. Welch said.
"Our business model was developed to deliver mobile and store installations locally and quickly, and because of that our supply chain, retail partnerships and team of customer champions are well-placed to deliver when most others cannot."
Earlier this year, in an effort to reach "time-poor" motorists, Tirescanner.com organized a network of independent mobile tire-installers to complement its online business model.
In addition, Tirescanner has added three former Blackcircles employees to its staff:
- Graeme Bissett, chairman at Blackcircles.com for 12 years, who will advise the board on governance, finance and strategic matters;
- Mark Spence, a longtime employee, was named vice president of trading; and
- David Patten, a senior designer with Blackcircles, was named vice president of design and UX, overseeing design and user- experience activities.