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Big O opens first store in Arkansas

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At one time, the official nickname for Arkansas was the "Land of Opportunity." That name is still appropriate, according to Bore/MPC LLC, the largest Big O franchisee in the United States.

Ranked 87th on the Modern Tire Dealer 100 list, Bore/MPC opened not only its first but also the first Big O franchise in Arkansas on March 4, 2013. That gives the Columbia, Mo.-based dealership 13 Big O stores.

"It just seemed like the logical thing to go south," says Marketing Director Melanie Coats. She adds that the company has expanded south from Springfield to Nixa to Hollister in Missouri to Springdale, which is located in the northwest part of Arkansas.

"The northwest section of Arkansas has a strong, vibrant economy," says Operations Director Rusty Coats, Melanie's husband. "We have to have a certain size town to make a Big O franchise work."

The new 13,500-square-foot store has eight bays. It offers several tire brands, including the Big O private brand, Sumitomo, Yokohama and Nitto.

It also stocks 3,000 tires, which will help supply the dealership's planned second store in Arkansas. Rusty Coats says Bore/MPC already has purchased some land in Bentonville, home to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

He expects the 7,500- to 8,000-square-foot Bentonville facility to be completed in 2014.

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