Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D J u n e 2 0 1 9 10 Bites N e w s / V i e w s Meineke adds outlet Meineke Car Care Centers LLC has opened a location in Albermarle, N.C. It is the first Meineke outlet for new franchisee Kong Vang, who is a dentist. TireHub expands TireHub LLC has opened a logistics center in Fort Myers, Fla. This is the first new market expansion for TireHub. Bridgestone Americas Inc. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. jointly launched TireHub in July 2018. Toyo recalls Proxes Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. is recalling certain Proxes A27 tires, in size P185/60R16 86H. Two types of rubber compound were mixed together in the building of 2,169 of the Proxes A27 tires, which may result in sections of the tire tread detaching. Epicor acquires MechanicNet Epicor Software Corp. acquired Mechan- icNet Group Inc., a customer relationship management provider. Epicor says the combined companies offer a complete so- lution from the back to the front of a shop. Bauer Built awards scholars This is the 25th year for Bauer Built Inc. to award scholarships named in honor of the tire dealer's founders, G.F. "Sam" and Ethel V. Bauer. This year, six $1,500 scholarships were given to the children and grandchil- dren of Bauer Built employees. Hankook is a top supplier Hankook Tire America Corp. has received the "GM Supplier of the Year Award" from General Motors Co. and the "Honda Supplier of the Year Double Award" from Honda Motor Co. The Group expands training The Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group) has expanded its training academy classes and will present training seminars to technicians in its own shops. Virginia Tire is expanding Virginia Tire & Auto LLC has opened two stores in 2019 with two more stores on the way. Along with adding its first outlet out- side of Northern Virginia in Chesterfield, the company has hired its first chief financial officer, Kevin Whitton. Monro will consolidate retail brands A s Monro Inc. continues to refresh the look of its 1,000-plus stores, the company also plans to streamline its retail operations and focus on five "re- gional power brands," rather than the nine different nameplates it operates currently. CEO and President Brett Ponton talked about Monro's brand consolidation strategy during a call with investors following the company's release of fiscal year 2019 results. He didn't identify which of the retail brand names would be eliminated. "We have acquired several regional brands over the years and operate two store formats in the majority of our key markets, with a focus on increasing store density. is brings us significant competi- tive advantages when it comes to sharing inventory and leveraging our distribution network across our store base. "As part of our broader store refresh initiative, we will be leveraging customer data analytics and local brand awareness to consolidate our existing nine retail banners into five regional power brands." At the same time, Ponton says Monro will convert some of its service-focused stores into tire stores — "when we identify targeted demographics that favor a tire store format." Why make that move? To increase sales. Ponton says, "Our service stores generate approximately $600,000 in annualized sales while our tire stores generate approximately $1.2 million in annualized sales. "Tires make up a significant portion of the automotive aermarket. By optimizing brand awareness and banner concentration in targeted markets we can increase our sales and relevancy in the marketplace without sacrificing service revenues." A TEST OF SUCCESS Ponton says Monro conducted a pilot test in a mid-Atlantic market last year, and shied "a few" selected service stores to a tire-oriented brand. "We are pleased to report these pilot stores are show- ing a meaningful improvement in both conversion and traffic. Importantly, the results of this pilot program were in line with the forecast of our analytic model, which gives us confidence in the execu- tion of our brand consolidation strategy going forward. "We will analyze customer data, brand awareness and banner concentration market by market, and we will be methodi- cally prioritizing markets where we see the strongest potential for increased visibility and traction of our tire banners. "Overall our goal is to increase brand awareness in our regional markets while aligning our store banners with market demand to optimize growth specifically where we identify opportunities for higher tire sales." MORE WORK WITH AMAZON Monro also has expanded its partnership with Amazon.com Inc. Another 400-plus Monro locations in nine states are offering tire installation for Amazon shoppers. at more than doubles the number of Monro locations, and gives Amazon more than 2,000 installation outlets nationwide. — Joy Kopcha Service-focused brands: Monro Auto Service and Tire Centers Car-X Tire and Auto (acquired in 2015) Tire-focused brands that offer some automotive services: Mr. Tire Auto Service Centers (acquired in 2004) Tire Choice Auto Service Centers (acquired in 2014) Tread Quarters Discount Tire Auto Service Centers (acquired in 2002) Ken Towery's Tire & Auto Care (acquired in 2012) AutoTire Car Care Centers (acquired in 2009) Tire and alignment brands: Tire Warehouse Tires for Less (acquired in 2009) Tire Barn Warehouse (acquired in 2012) A look at Monro's brand portfolio

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