Just read your March editorial about the next big tire competitor Amazon. I agree they will get into the tire business and very successfully.
You mentioned Target and tires being a bad fit for their marketing image and message. You are probably correct since way back in the day Target did have tire and auto service. In about 1984, shortly after I came to Tire Kingdom, they got out and never looked back.
The same thing happened in a few regional department stores: Hecht Co. in D.C. as well as WT Grant and HL Greene. Woolworth/Woolco also had a bad experience in the tire and service business.
What baffles me is with the Sears Roebuck success in catalog stores how did all the genius execs not see and react to Amazon? Catalog and online commerce are pretty close cousins.
Derrill DeRamus, Retail Division, Compliance and Quality Assurance, TBC Corp., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Comments from our website
Concerning Bob Ulrich’s March editorial “Your next great competitor is... The odds favor Amazon.com over Sears Automotive”:
Although Amazon is building out its own distribution network, part of what makes the Amazon formula work is to remain relatively asset light. It’s estimated that about 40% of Amazon’s revenue comes from its 3rd party seller platform. In other words, Amazon is going to sell stuff (tires, knives, etc.) with or without the approval of the manufacturer.
To fight that is a waste of time and energy. It is true that the tire manufacturers have expressed no interest in selling to Amazon thus far. I anticipate that will remain the case for at least the top five manufacturers.
That said, there is no shortage of distributors who fulfill for Amazon. What actually holds Amazon back is its absolute and unwavering focus on their customer at the expense of its vendors and their profit margins.
Name withheld upon request
Concerning the On the Rise article from the February issue on “Closing for the weekend to keep employees”:
I don’t understand how closing Saturday, the day many customers are off work makes sense. We operate three locations and are open 12 hours M-F and 11 hours on Saturday. We employ 47 people. Every employee, Managers, customer service and technicians work five days.
Many have voiced satisfaction at having a day off during the week. I think businesses that close Saturday are thinking of their personal convenience and not the customer.
Denny Bucher, Co-owner, Family Tire & Auto Service, Jacksonville, New Bern and Morehead City, N.C.
Concerning Wayne Williams’ April article on “The sales counter moved again: And the sales floor is now on the smartphone”:
Years ago I never thought people would shop tires online, although Tire Rack, in a way, was proving it way in advance with mail order. Then I thought people would never shop for a used or reconditioned OEM wheel online, which is our product. Well, I was terribly wrong on both counts, and we have been investing heavily. Another great article, Wayne!
Billy Eordekian, President, 1-800EveryRim, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
Question of the month
Each month we ask members of our National Advisory Council (NAC) a question or questions on a current hot topic. Recently we asked, “If you could have dinner with a famous person — living or dead — who would that be? Why that person? What would you ask them?” Here is one of their responses.
1. Jesus Christ. Hands down. He’s the most important figure in history. I’d ask Jesus where He was between his bodily death and his glorious resurrection — I’ve always, selfishly, wanted to know. It’s a tenet of my faith that “To be absent in the body, is to be present with the Lord.” So, I’ve always wondered where he was during those three days while his body lay in the grave before being resurrected.(I realize this response may not be politically correct, but you asked for an honest response.) If I had the chance, I couldn’t pass on this one. Jesus Christ, hands down.
We also asked council members what was on their mind.
Internet sales are killing the brick and mortar stores. They have caused an uneven playing field by not charging the consumer sales tax. From tire suppliers to parts suppliers, selling online and not charging sales tax is BS! Brick and mortar stores have been the backbone of this country in terms of employing people!
Contact your senators and congressmen to address this issue!
Jerry Reygaert, Owner, Reys Auto & Tire, Shelby Township, Mich.
Join Modern Tire Dealer’s National Advisory Council
Each month, Modern Tire Dealer is guided and influenced by a select group of readers — members of our National Advisory Council. These members’ opinions are the heart of the monthly Your Marketplace column, compiled by industry analyst Nick Mitchell. If you’d like to join this prestigious group, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Contact Editor Bob Ulrich at Bob.Ulrich@bobit.com or call (330) 899-2200, ext. 11.