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Les Schwab expands into Denver first, then...

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Les Schwab Tire Centers plans to expand into Denver, Colo., and central California this year. The 434-store dealership will open five stores in each market.

The dealership has stores throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada and Utah.

Construction on the five stores in the Denver area began in March. The company says five more stores soon will be built in central California.

"We know there is a significant demand for the unique value we provide customers, and we look forward to expanding our presence into these new communities,” says CEO Dick Borgman.

"Stores built in these markets will feature a new design which focuses on providing the world-class service our customer’s value."

The new store design is based on feedback from customers and includes the following:

* an abundance of natural light and views,

* ample parking and

* a comfortable customer lounge with free popcorn and coffee, television and free Wi-Fi.

Borgman says they will feature “high performance” building principals, incorporating elements of green technology such as efficient energy, ventilation and lighting systems.

The new Les Schwab retail stores will include all of the company’s trademark services. After running to greet customers when they drive up to the stores, well-trained employees are expected to provide honest and knowledgeable advice on tires, brakes and alignments.

Les Schwab Tire Centers (www.lesschwab.com), headquartered in Bend, Ore., is one of the leading independent tire dealers in the United States. The company has more than 6,600 employees.

The late Les Schwab founded the company that bears his name in 1952. His stores quickly established a reputation for outstanding customer service.

The first Les Schwab stores were opened in small towns and rural communities with one guiding principal -- "provide your neighbors with outstanding customer service and high quality products." This single-minded focus on servicing the customer continues today.

"Pride in Peformance,"a slogan coined by the founder, explains each employee’s commitment to providing the best tire value to the store's customers and always delivering world-class customer service.

The company pioneered the concept of offering a supermarket selection of tires in each showroom, which gives customers the opportunity to inspect and select the exact tires they want.

Remaining close to its customers in every community also is important to Les Schwab Tire Centers. The company has been recognized for its volunteer efforts, sponsorships, and local environmental and business practices. It has received several awards, including a Milestone award from the Oregon Sustainability Board and Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, and an Environmental Excellence award from the Association of Washington Business.

In 2000, Les Schwab was named Modern Tire Dealer's "Tire Dealer of the Year." (Click here to read all about it.) Schwab died in 2007.

Borgman, who has been with the company 22 years, says the company not only has active plans for continued growth, but also remains committed to delivering "the legendary Les Schwab level of customer service and be original and innovative.”

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