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Discount Tire gives its customers the tools to buy

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Discount Tire gives its customers the tools to buy

Discount Tire is famous for offering free tire repairs at each of its 891 stores nationwide. That has been a staple of the organization since 1970.

It also performs thousands of free air checks every day. And in areas where cold weather is a concern, the company changes winter tires at no cost to the car owner, whether they are going on the vehicle or coming off.

Those are the sexy services that receive all the press. How can more than 10 million(!) free tire repairs over the last 44 years not be newsworthy? But the services are more than just promotional gimmicks. They are part of a Discount Tire philosophy designed by founder Bruce Halle to turn every visitor into a loyal customer.

Chief Customer Officer Steve Fournier insists the store managers and assistant store managers are taught not to hard sell tires and wheels.

“Customers have more information today thanks to the Web. They go to the store and know more about tires than the tire person!

“We look to create that same experience for customers. We give them unbiased, transparent information — good, factual data — to help them make their decisions.”

Tire and wheel displays are a given, although they are just part of the showroom decor. Each store features a “Good, Better, Best” tire display that defines the differences in tire quality, according to Discount Tire.

  • “Good” tires have simpler designs with minimal features. Rubber compounds and other materials are more basic.
  • “Better” tires are most often built with new technologies and components than “Good” tires. Their rubber compounds and designs are also more advanced. These contribute to a longer, more comfortable and better performing tire than those in the “Good” category.
  • “Best” tires are built to the highest standards using the most state-of-the-art equipment. Their more advanced tread designs, construction and rubber compounds are designed to deliver the highest level of performance.

The definitions are supported by a cutaway illustration that showcases tire technology.

The stores don’t shy away from hot-button issues. For example, a consumer advisory addressing tire aging is placed squarely on the main counter. Discount Tire recommends replacing the tire between six and 10 years of age, and taking any tire more than 10 years old out of service.

Low-cost radial pricing and price specials are sometimes emphasized, although every store will meet or beat pricing on comparative tires. Tire prices, good-better-best suggestions and customer reviews are displayed on the company’s website,   ■

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