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American Tire Distributors exits retail

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American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD) has sold its last retail store in Lincolnton, N.C., to Griffin Brothers Tire Sales Inc., a regional dealership with stores in the Charlotte metro region.

"The decision to sell the store founded by J. Harlan Heafner was difficult for sentimental reasons, but clearly made sense from a business perspective," said Dick Johnson, CEO and president of ATD. "Since 2001, we have focused on our core strengths of distribution and service to independent dealers because we feel that competing with our customers is unhealthy for the industry."

ATD began as a family business in 1935 at the storefront in Lincolnton. During the 1990s the company, then known as Heafner Tire Group, grew steadily through acquisitions of distributors and retail chains including T.O. Haas Co. and Winston Tire Co.

In 2001 ATD sold its Winston Tire and T.O. Haas retail stores, leaving the Lincolnton store as its only retail outlet.

ATD is the 11th largest tire distribution network in North America, according to MTD data. It operates 62 distribution centers servicing 35 states.

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