AKRON — Even as the "gorillas" in the retail tire/auto repair sector keep getting bigger, the operating dynamics of a "typical" larger-scale, multi-store independent retail tire dealership in North America don't change measurably from year to year.
According to data collected and analyzed annually by Tire Business, the typical Top 100 dealership operates 22 stores generating roughly $3.8 million in revenue per outlet with a dozen tire brands available.
The dealership size of 22 stores is the median of the 100 dealerships profiled in this year's report. That's up from 20 a year ago and the same as in 2021. The up-and-down nature of this figure reflects in part the absorption of primarily mid-size dealerships by the larger, acquisition-driven dealerships.
In contrast, the average size of a dealership in the Tire Business Top 100 now stands at 98 stores, up from 96 a year ago and 88 in 2021, reflecting the increasingly top-heavy nature of the ranking, which features three dealerships with over 1,000 stores: Mavis Discount Tire with 1,947, Monro Inc. with 1,299 and Discount Tire/America's Tire, 1,175.
The average sales revenue of a store — based on data from 35 companies that supplied sales information — was just over $3.8 million, up more than third over the average reported a year ago.
The typical large dealership derived 51% of its sales from tires and related services, 41% from automotive service and 8% from other, miscellaneous sources, according to information derived from the dealerships that shared that information with Tire Business.
The share of a dealership's sales represented by automotive service ranges from zero (Discount Tire) to 80% at Leeds West Groups and Virginia Tire & Auto.
The typical Top 100 tire dealership offers a baker's dozen of brands — eight to nine flag and three to four import and/or private brand — with Michelin (carried by 61 dealerships), BFGoodrich (60), Bridgestone (58) and Cooper (55) the dominant brands available at the leading dealerships that make up this year's ranking.
Those brands are followed by Continental (54), Goodyear (49), Yokohama (46), General (45); Pirelli and Uniroyal (37), Hankook (38), Toyo (36), Dunlop (35), Kelly (33), Falken (29) and Sumitomo (19).
The Top 100 dealerships (actually 103 due to ties) operate nearly 11,000 points of sale among them, up 930 over the 2022 ranking, due almost entirely to M&A activity.
In addition, Tire Business research reveals there are 62 more dealerships just outside the top 100 collectively operating more than 456 stores — 14 with nine stores, 22 with eight and 22 with seven.
The typical larger-scale dealership operates six to seven service bays per outlet, the data show.
All but two of the 103 dealerships profiled this year are privately owned, including Max Auto Supply Inc. and Ben Tire Distributors Ltd., which are employee-owned.
The firms publicly owned or controlled by outside financial holdings — Monro Inc. and Icahn Automotive — are the Nos. 2 and 4 companies on the largest dealerships ranking.
In addition, six of the largest dealerships — No. 1 Mavis Tire, No. 5 Les Schwab Tire Centers, No. 6 Sun Auto Tire & Service, No. 8 Percheron Capital/Big Brand Tire Co., No. 16 Greatwater 360 Auto Care and No. 38 Left Lane Auto L.L.C. — are backed at least partially by private-equity firms.
Those firms operate 3,243 points of sale directly, or nearly one-third of all outlets operated the dealerships in the this year's Top 100.
In Canada, Goodyear owns minority stakes in Beverly Tire and Fountain Tire Corp.
Three dealerships, Virginia Tire & Auto (17 stores) of McLean, Va.; Chabill's Tire & Service L.L.C. of Morgan City, La. (17 stores) and Pneus Ratté of Quebec City, Quebec (12 stores), have female top executives : Julie Holmes is co-CEO of Virginia Tire & Auto alongside her husband Michael Holmes; Beth Barron is CEO of Chabill's; and Charlayne Ratté is co-owner of Pneus Ratté, a Point S-affiliated dealership.
Looking the Top 100 in terms on affiliation, there are:
• Seven Big O Tires franchisees among the 100 operating 174 outlets.
• Two Car-X Tire franchises with 56 outlets; Monro Inc., owner of the Car-X franchise program, operates 72 Car-X-badged points of sale under its corporate umbrella;
• Two Point S dealers in the U.S. with 51 outlets between them and three in Canada with 43 outlets among them;
• Two Tire Pros dealers, with 25 outlets.
In addition, Mavis Tire operates directly 42 of the 165 Tuffy Tire outlets under the Tuffy Tire franchise program it acquired in late 2021.