This week marked a sobering milestone: More than 200,000 Americans have perished due to the effects of COVID-19.
Politics aside, this pandemic has meant an upheaval in our way of life — and cost many business owners their livelihood, tire dealers included.
And as fires rage in the Pacific Northwest, hurricanes batter the Gulf states and racial demonstrations turn dangerous all across the country, it's important to keep in mind those dealers who are and might be in peril.
Now, the good news.
Despite the events of 2020, tire dealers, for the most part, seem to be doing well. In fact, some tell us their business is performing better than at any time in their history.
But what is even more remarkable is this: Some dealerships are demonstrating no hesitation in growing their footprint.
Outside of a two-month period when nearly every non-essential business went dark and many essential businesses bottomed out to Great Recession levels, acquisitions seemed to occur at pre-COVID levels.
A sampling since July 1:
- GB Auto Service Inc. acquired Sun Devil Auto Service of Phoenix and Louetta Automotive & Tire Service of Houston, expanding its portfolio to 164 locations in four states;
- Driven Brands Inc., parent company of Meineke Car Care Centers, purchased International Car Wash Group;
- Wholesaler K&M Tire Inc. bought Safemark, located in Middletown, Pa., expanding its distribution footprint in eastern Pennsylvania;
- Telle Tire & Auto Centers Inc. is acquiring J&W Automotive, a single-location auto repair shop in St. Louis, expanding Telle Tire's network to 16 locations in Missouri;
- Jack Williams Tire Co. acquired a retail store from McCarthy Tire Service, its second in Scranton, Pa., and 37th overall;
- Gills Point S Tire & Automotive Service of Oregon has acquired 10 Vianor-branded retail stores in New England from Finnish tire maker Nokian Tyres P.L.C.; and
- Leeds West Groups (LWG) added five locations — two in Kentucky, and one each in Ohio, Colorado and Oklahoma, as well as purchasing the real estate of three other locations (two in Colorado, one in Wisconsin). That list doesn't include an acquisition of a Nebraska location that was finalized in early May.