To help tire dealers make “smart, forward-looking decisions” during the COVID-19 crisis, research firm GfK has unveiled a “leader panel” of select tire retailers that will share weekly sales updates.
According to GfK officials, the stores “will provide directional insights to help the industry cope with today’s economic disruption and plan for a strong recovery.”
Initial findings from the panel, which consists of more than 350 stores, show that
- overall unit sales for the week ending March 28 were down 45% year-over-year;
- sales of light truck tires used by construction pick-ups, delivery vans, and other vehicles still active during COVID-19-related shutdowns have dropped less than non-LT models, and;
- ultra-high performance tires, “and non-LT tires in general, are proving to be more discretionary purchases,” down 51% during the week of March 22-28, compared to the same week in 2019.
“During this crisis, it is critical to understand the effect COVID-19 is having on consumer tire buying behavior,” says Neil Portnoy, managing director of GfK’s POS Tracking team for U.S. tire retail.
“GfK’s weekly panel will offer US tire retailers and manufacturers an early read on market changes, so that they can make critical decisions regarding when to restart factories and how to most efficiently rebuild the supply chain.”