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Winston repays Goodyear loan, announces store openings

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Winston Tire Co. has repaid a $5 million loan from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. earlier than expected.

The Torrance, Calif.-based dealership was scheduled to make the payment on Sept. 20, but turned it in a day before.

In addition, Winston officials have announced the 132-store chain will open a new store in Sonoma County, Calif., on Oct. 1. Three more outlets "in backfill markets" are slated to open by the end of the year.

In other activities, Winston has used "high tech wizardry generally associated with Hollywood" to insert late company founder Sam Winston's image into its new print and electronic ad campaign entitled "Nobody Sells Tires For Less."

"Everyone we come in contact with in our markets still has very fond memories of Sam Winston," says Mark Doran, Winston vice president of sales.

The "combined weight" of the program is expected to reach more than one million consumers a day, say company officials.

Winston also reports that its sales during "the Labor Day period" jumped by 44%.

Lafayette, La.-based Performance Management Inc. purchased Winston from The Heafner Tire Group earlier this year.

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