The 157 members of Tire Factory Inc. and their more than 200 stores in the U.S. will join Point S, an international network of independent tire and car service dealers in 27 countries.
John Kreidel, CEO of Tire Factory, says the group’s stores will change their names to match the Point S brand. The change will occur beginning in June 2015 and will continue over 18 months.
“Customers will see more things staying the same than changing”, Kreidel says. “They’ll still find the same local owners and staff dedicated to serving their communities.
“Tire Factory has grown in the West for 32 years, but the members and the board realized that to continue to grow and remain relevant in a changing market, we needed to improve our brand and increase our buying power,” Kreidel says. “After looking at many alternatives, we decided to join hands with over 3,000 independents worldwide who fly the Point S flag and who are made up of independent store owners just like Tire Factory.”
Eric Gill, Chairman of the Tire Factory Board, says, “The customer will really only notice three changes. The name on the stores will change. Second, they will find a great line, Point S branded products, in our stores. And third, customers will appreciate remodeled stores with an updated and fresh Point S brand.”
Gill likens this partnership to the one Tire Factory’s original tire dealer owners made in 1983.
“Tire Factory was founded by five independent tire store owners in 1983 who decided they could save their customers some money by combining their purchases,” Gill says. “Today, 157 owners are doing the same thing on a bigger scale — getting better prices for their customers — by joining hands with Point S.”
So, why abandon the Tire Factory name?
“Changing our name was taken very seriously but it’s the right thing to do”, says Kreidel. “Tire Factory is a well-known brand, but standing together with over 3,300 other independents using the Point S brand was compelling to our long term marketing strategy. Point S stands for Service Point and better reflects our local store’s brand for selling both tires and automotive services.”
Kreidel says Tire Factory’s license with Point S allows dealers to keep their local, independent identity.
“The Point S branding guildelines allow for the member to have their name on the building. (See photo.) The Point S signage will be dominant, just like the Tire Factory’s is today,” Kreidel says. “My guess is most dealers will answer the phone Nolan’s Point S, just like Nolan’s Tire Factory, today. This will come with time as the member converts.
“We absolutely want members to identify with their local name on the store,” Kreidel says.
Along with Tire Factory, UniMax Tire Ltd., a network of independent retailers and distributors in Canada, is rebranding its stores with the Point S name. UniMax initially associated itself with Point S in 2012. UniMax operates more than 600 outlets and sells more than 3 million tires annually via its retail and distribution channels.
Fabien Bouquet, deputy managing director of Point S development, the international headquarters of Point S, says, “The common decision of UniMax and Tire Factory to use the point S Trademark as an exclusive retail banner in their respective networks is fantastic news. This historic decision from both networks supports our mutual target to build up the largest North American Independent tire dealer network. This is what we have achieved today.”
To read about Tire Factory’s last annual dealer meeting, see Tire Factory signals shift in strategy