Rice Tire will focus on commercial tire sales and service

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Donald B. Rice Tire Co. will concentrate on commercial tire sales and service following its exit from retailing, which was announced yesterday.

The Frederick, Md.-based dealership is selling five retail outlets to Monro Muffler Brake Inc.

The transaction officially takes place this Saturday. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

"Eighty-five-percent of our business is commercial," Rice Tire President Ken Rice told earlier today.

"We´ll take proceeds from the sale and put them into (the construction of) new truck tire centers, two within the next year and another one on the drawing board."

Most of the company´s commercial tire customers are regional, according to Chris Chase, Rice Tire executive vice president. "In order for us to service them efficiently, we need to further develop our network of commercial stores. This is the fastest growing part of our business."

Rice Tire has added three commercial tire outlets within the last five years.

The 71-year-old dealership also plans to expand its wholesale division, which sells to retail tire shops, car lots, service stations and other distributors.

Rice Tire has seven commercial truck tire centers and warehouse locations, plus a retread plant.

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