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Mergers, E-commerce and More: Chip Wood’s Take on Five Hot Topics

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"In the early days, it was a real fight to disassociate yourself from any one brand. But now I can't imagine not selling as many brands as we can offer to customers. They need easy decisions."

(Photo by Steve Ziegelmeyer/Ziegelmeyer Photography)

Tire Dealer of the Year Chip Wood provided his take on five topics that independent tire dealers grapple with on a daily basis - and how they impact his dealership, Tire Discounters. Here’s what he had to say:

Mergers and acquisitions/dealer consolidation: “It will continue and we’re excited to actively participate, as well.”

Multi-brand approach: “In our early days, it was a real fight to disassociate yourself from any one brand. But now I can’t imagine not selling as many brands as we can offer to customers. They need easy decisions.”

Maintaining margins in an increasingly crowded marketplace: “The hardest thing in the world for a small business is to price its wares correctly. Too much and you’re not competitive. Too low and you can’t survive. It’s been a challenge to maintain enough margin to be a healthy business. You have to buy as best you can.”

Evolving vehicle technology, including electric cars: “I remember when we went to front wheel drive cars and people said, ‘This is going to kill us.’ (Electric vehicles) are going to change our business, for sure, but we’ll find a way to adapt.”

E-commerce: “We are innovating more and more to make (buying tires online) possible. It won’t replace relationships, though. Customers need service they can trust.”

“As part of our innovation efforts, we’re also now selling through www.tirediscounters.com,” says Anna Wood, managing director and vice president. “Customers can talk directly with our customer service people, buy tires and schedule installations, right on the website.”

(Photo by Steve Ziegelmeyer/Ziegelmeyer Photography)

 

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