Retail

Monro achieves 2004 sales increase

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Monro Muffler Brake Inc.'s sales grew 8.3% to $279.5 million last year thanks to a 4.7% increase in comparable store sales.

Comparable store sales growth was driven by a 16% increase in scheduled maintenance, a 6% increase in brake sales and a 19% hike in commercial sales, according to Monro officials.

Monro's sales for the fourth quarter of 2004 totaled $67.2 million, a 9.4% increase over the same period in 2003. However, the Rochester, N.Y.-based chain's net income fell "due to several reasons, including a shift in the seasonality of the business to the third quarter related to owning more tire stores."

In March 2002, Monro acquired Kimmel Automotive Inc., a 34-outlet tire dealership based in Baltimore, Md. Eleven months later, Monro bought 10 retail stores from Sumter, S.C.-based Frasier Tire Service Inc. Two months ago, the company completed its acquisition of 36 Mr. Tire Inc. locations in Maryland and Virginia.

This month's edition of Modern Tire Dealer contains a feature story that details Monro's tire store plans.

"Our strategy within any market is having a Monro store and a tire shop," Monro CEO and President Robert Gross told MTD. "It gives us huge economies of scale."

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