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Pep Boys' tire sales were flat during 1Q

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Pep Boys -- Manny, Moe & Jack's service sales were up 2.2% during the first quarter of the year but the company's comparable tire sales were flat.

However, Pep Boys officials are optimistic about the future of the chain's tire business. (Tires are part of Pep Boys' service business.)

"We're starting to see the service business turn around," says Pep Boys CEO Larry Stevenson.

Earlier today, he told investors during a conference call that Pep Boys "will continue to be aggressive on price point tires. We believe tires are a great first transaction point for Pep Boys."

Because of skyrocketing gas prices and other economic factors that are crimping consumers' budgets, "we want to be competitive on opening price point tires, (with the intention) of selling the whole range."

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