Monro Inc. retained the No. 2 spot on the ranking with 1,299 retail outlets, up eight from a year ago. Discount Tire ranked third after adding 65 points of sale in the past year — including the Dunn Tire stores — for a total of 1,175 outlets.
While most of the major dealerships spent the past adding locations, two prominent players — Icahn Automotive/Pep Boys and Wheel Pros L.L.C's 4 Wheel Parts unit — retrenched measurably over the past year.
Pep Boys closed a net of 31 stores since September 2022, dropping to 891 locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The company has not commented publicly on its reasons for closing the stores or disclosed which stores closed.
At the same time, Pep Boys has opened a handful of greenfield locations, including stores in Brownsburg, Ind., Raleigh, N.C. and Chalmette, La., over this past summer.
Despite the smaller footprint, Pep Boys' parent Icahn Enterprises reported higher sales for the first half of fiscal 2022.
Icahn/Pep Boys is the No. 4 dealership in the ranking, ahead of Les Schwab Tire Centers with 519 locations, and Sun Auto Tire & Service, with 423 locations, up 63.
Kal Tire (257 stores), Percheron Capital/Big Brand Tires (205 stores), Tire Discounters Inc. (195 stores) and Belle Tire Distributors (175 stores) round out the Top 10.
For Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Wheel Pros, the situation was a bit more involved. Since taking over 4 Wheel Parts as part of its purchase in the third quarter of 2022 of Transamerican Auto Parts, the company took stock of 4 Wheel Parts' retail footprint — 100-plus outlets in the U.S. and Canada at that time — and determined that many of the stores were located too far away from the collective Wheel Pros/Transamerican wholesale distribution network.
In the end the company shut 60 locations, retrenching to 45 stores that Wheel Pros management feels the company can supply effectively through the 35 warehouse D/Cs and logistics centers it operates throughout the U.S.
With the retrenchment, most of the 4 Wheel Parts retail stores are located in four core markets, California, Colorado, Florida and Texas, which also corresponds with the business' key demographics.
On a more synergistic note: Wheel Pros noted that the 4WP retail outlets now benefit from the wide range of Wheel Pros suspension and lighting kits.