Retail

Point S Rebranding Exceeds Expectations in the U.S., and Points to More Growth

Joy Kopcha
Posted on February 18, 2017

Tire Factory Inc. members have rebranded the vast majority of their 206 stores to the Point S banner at a breakneck pace. And leaders of the Oregon-based cooperative are unveiling new programs with two big hopes: the momentum of current members continues, and more independent tire dealers join their network.

Bobby Hendry from 31 Inc. was from one of 80-plus vendors at the Tire Factory trade show. Here he talks to Mike Fleming, equipment supply manager for the dealer group, and Marc Thompson from Point S Everett in Everett, Wash.
Bobby Hendry from 31 Inc. was from one of 80-plus vendors at the Tire Factory trade show. Here he talks to Mike Fleming, equipment supply manager for the dealer group, and Marc Thompson from Point S Everett in Everett, Wash.
More than 85% of the group’s current members have rebranded, or are nearly finished with the process, says Walter Lybeck, CEO of Tire Factory, which joined the global Point S network in June 2015. Lybeck says the pace that members have adopted the blue and green Point S branding is “way above my expectations.”

Tire Factory tapped its tire vendors for financial support to help dealers rebrand their stores. Each store was eligible for up to $25,000 to help pay for the switch, but most members have invested far more than that in paint, signage and improvements. Collectively, he says dealers have spent $10 million to refresh and enhance 182 stores.

With the bulk of the transition complete, Lybeck says the group is ready to focus on growth, and remains committed to a goal stated a year ago at the group’s annual meeting: for Point S to become the third largest network of independent tire dealers in North America. (There’s a similar boom of Point S stores happening in Canada.)

Walter Lybeck is in his first year as CEO of Tire Factory Inc.
Walter Lybeck is in his first year as CEO of Tire Factory Inc.
Among the newest dealers to join the Point S banner in the U.S. are David’s Discount Point S in Haskell, Okla. and Direct Discount in Stillwater, Okla. What makes those stores especially significant is they come with an existing distribution center. Lybeck says that distribution capability will allow the group to continue to expand in Oklahoma, and even neighboring states.

Improving delivery service was a big concern for dealers in northern California, and Lybeck says the group has purchased trucks to run daily routes to stores in that region. For that area dealers will have until 5 p.m. to place an order and have it delivered the next day from the Tire Factory warehouse in Portland, Ore. “We’re ready to implement that any day,” Lybeck says.

Bumping up delivery service is just one project on the table. Tire Factory also is developing its own online tire sales system. It’s hired a full-time professional trainer to expand educational offerings through its Point S University portal, and dealers also have access to market analysis data specific to their stores and markets.

But with every improvement, leaders say the group remains committed to its core focus – the independent dealer.

“We’re going to be consistently independent,” says Eric Gill, owner of 15 stores and chairman of the Tire Factory board of directors.

Related Topics: Eric Gill, Point S, Tire Factory, Walter Lybeck

Joy Kopcha Senior Editor & Digital Projects Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Hiring a third party to come in and mystery shop your stores, both in person and via telephone, will help you see what you can’t see.
Article 71% of Employees are Disengaged: So What Makes You Think Yours are Not?

Do you see what I see? Of course not! If you could see through your customers’ eyes, they would tell you how well, or how poorly, your employees engage customers. It’s not that easy to track, however.

In addition to warning its employees on the dangers of texting and driving, Ramona Tire promotes that message to the public with its “Please make it home safe today” digital billboard on I-215 west of Hemet, Calif. (see sidebar).
Article How Is the ‘Health’ of Your Business Insurance Coverage?

Many of us make it a point to see our doctor for regular checkups. Doing so gives the physician the opportunity to assess the current condition of our health, and gives us a chance to ask questions about medical issues or concerns. A thorough exam can help to diagnose early symptoms and gives the doctor an opportunity to offer recommendations and advice for a healthier lifestyle.

The new G-Max RS is the General brand's first UHP summer tire. The company says its Smart Technologies offer impressive performance in dry and wet conditions while visual alerts provide driving confidence.
Product New G-Max RS UHP Summer Tire Rounds Out General Line

The new G-Max RS is the first General brand tire designed for the ultra-high performance summer tire segment.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!