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Bankrupt Winston Tire will close 20 stores

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Winston Tire Co. will close 20 outlets as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.

The closings will leave the Torrance, Calif.-based chain with 114 outlets, according to Winston Tire President Ron Vines.

"We have the option over the next 60 days to reject any lease that might be unfavorable to doing business," he says.

Vines says Winston "got pretty bloated over the past few years. At one point, our office had grown to more than 100 (employees); we've cut it down to 28."

Moving from Burbank, Calif., to Torrance this past summer reduced rent payments by more than 60%, he says.

Winston's implementation of a more efficient computer system last December should help as well. "It's hard to hold people accountable if you don't know what's going on."

Vines says the dealership "has a good relationship with (its) suppliers" but also constantly reviews product mix "opportunities."

"Our long-term plan will be focusing on operating the business the way it should be. We anticipate we'll be able to come out of this a strong and profitable company."

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