Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC has closed 13 of its 14 Firestone Complete Auto Care stores in the greater Salt Lake City area. For Burt Brothers Tire and Service Inc., that spells opportunity.
Jeremy Burt, operations and marketing manager for Burt Brothers, says the independent tire dealer is working to capture three things:
- consumers who now are looking for a new source for tires and auto repair;
- employees who are suddenly out of work; and
- the opportunity to expand to meet the market need.
On the consumer end, Burt Brothers has announced in local media that it will honor all of Firestone’s consumer agreements and warranties. It’s also telling consumers that Burt Brothers is “the only local, direct Firestone dealer in Northern Utah,” that it has “one of the largest Firestone tire inventories in the state,” and that the dealer will accept the Firestone credit card.
“We will make this a seamless transition for customers,” Burt says. “We will honor all Firestone warranties and take care of all tire rotations and balances, flat repairs and other needs.”
As for employees, it’s well known in the industry that it’s hard to find good workers, especially technicians. Burt Brothers will host a job fair for former Firestone employees at the Burt Brothers corporate office, 737 N. 400 W in North Salt Lake City. The job fair will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 5.
The closing of the stores also presents an opportunity for Burt Brothers to expand. The company, led by brothers Ron Burt and Wendel Burt, was founded in 1991, and operates 11 stores along the Wasatch Front in northern Utah. A second generation — Ron and Wendel’s sons — including Jeremy Burt, have joined the company.
Jeremy Burt says the company “is also looking for opportunities to reopen the Firestone shops under the Burt Brothers name.”
Bridgestone didn’t specify the reason for the closures, other than to say it made the “difficult decision.” Bridgestone announced the closures on April 2. Burt Brothers says the closure was “due to a master lease agreement.”
For more information on Burt Brothers, visit www.BurtBrothers.com.