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 70 F o c u s O n I n d u s t r y B ig O Tires LLC franchisees reached $800 million in retail sales in 2018, with 169 stores posting record sales. It was the sixth straight year of improved sales for the TBC Corp. subsidiary. Store owners who gathered in New Orleans, La., April 29-May 2 for their annual meeting had much to celebrate in terms of 2018's sales and results: • average store sales totaled more than $2 million; • retail sales were up 5%; • same-store service sales increased more than 6%; and • car count was up more than 2%. In addition, sales of MAST (Michelin Americas Small Tires) products grew more than 20% in 2018. Sales of branded tires were up 15% year over year to be the most ever for the franchise group. TBC's Brant Wilson told Modern Tire Dealer that branded tires are Big O Tires' fastest growing revenue segment. e major brands, however, are balanced with exclusive Big O Tires products. "Several years ago we were under-penetrated in branded tires, and we put a focus on ensuring customers knew that we sold the big brands. We've had a great growth from that but we're still very conscious of our Big O Tires; that's the heart and soul of who we are," said Wilson, who is executive vice president for TBC and president and COO for the TBC Franchise Group. He also said Big O Tires franchisees are chewing through 2019. From Jan. 1 through the start of the dealer meeting on April 29, 2019, franchisees made significant gains over the year-ago period. ey were up 8% in retail same-store sales, 2.6% in car count, and 6.9% in retail tire units. Big O Tires added 20 stores to end 2018 at 460 franchise locations. ere are now Big O Tires stores in 25 states, up two states versus the end of 2017. e new states are North Dakota and Texas. Big O Tires entered North Dakota when franchisees Randy Rhone and Ben Zachmeier opened a store in Mandan. e brand expanded into Texas when TBC Corp. sold eight NTB Tire & Service Center stores in San Antonio and Corpus Christi to Chris Monteverde, a Big O Tires franchisee who also owns 19 stores in California. A RECORD YEAR FOR WHOLESALE TIRE SALES Big O Tires says it leveraged the creation of National Tire Wholesale (NTW) in 2018 to achieve a record year for wholesale tire sales. NTW was formed by the combination of Michelin's Tire Centers (TCi) distribution busi- ness and TBC's Carroll Tire Co. e wholesale businesses were combined aer TBC became a joint venture company owned by Michelin North America Inc. and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA) in early 2018. At the time of the transaction, TCi was the nation's fourth largest tire distributor, and Carroll Tire was the fih largest. As with any change, there were initial transition adjustments. However, Big O Tires dealers knew the effort would result in a significant advantage for them, according to Wilson. Ann Neal By Big O tire dealers celebrate 6 straight years of sales growth TBC's Brant Wilson is in front of a 2019 Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon fitted with 37-inch Nitto tires. The Jeep was the grand prize in a drawing to benefit the Big O Tires scholarship fund. Tom Huls (right), who owns a store in Yucca Valley, Calif., is pic- tured with Bob Resco, national accounts director for The Group. Larry and Martha Yanez visited booths during the vendor fair. They own a Big O Tires store in West Covina, Calif.

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