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Value-added service: Evans Tire

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Value-added service: Evans Tire

Evans Tire & Service Centers in Escondido, Calif., likes to WOW people. And the 81st dealership on Modern Tire Dealer's Top 100 Domestic Independent Tire Store Chains list needs to know about it. (See the list in our Research area under 2007 Charts and Statistics.)

WOW! is the brainstorm of Evans Tire founder John Andonian and Marketing Director Jerome Hemmestad.

The four-year-old program is a team effort at every one of the 14 outlets, says Hemmestad. Before the vehicle is returned, the techs wash the windows and "dress up" the tires. The waiting areas are -- or will be when all the outlets are remodeled -- adorned with flat-screen TVs. The stores offer Internet service.

Evans Tire makes sure tire and automotive services are done correctly at each outlet through quality control, according to Hemmestad. An independent auditor pops in randomly and does spot checks on inspection sheets, invoices and inventory.

Stickers left in the vehicles ask customers to comment on the service. "Did we WOW you? We need to know," asks Andonian. They can answer by visiting www.evanstire.com.

"We get a lot of feedback from our customers," says Hemmestad. "Customers give us their input through the WOW! sticker, calls directly to John (Andonian), and our Web site.

"The majority of our customers -- as many as 75% to 80% -- call... and tell us how we WOWed them."

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Quadrupling up

Hemmestad says the company's goal is to give customers value-added service.

Whether it is San Diego Padres baseball tickets, free pizza, tickets to theme parks or mail-in rebates, the goal is "to provide the best value for people."

The offers often run concurrently and are not mutually exclusive. "Customers can double up or triple up or quadruple up -- whatever we've got going. We want to make sure there's no confusion with the consumer with any of the offers."

Hemmestad says the ongoing remodeling effort, which includes warmer colors and easy-to-read merchandising, will help make customers more comfortable.

"We're finding more women are coming to the stores, so we're trying to gear toward a more women-friendly environment.

"It's a benefit to shop here rather than (somewhere else) because we're giving our customers all we've got,” he says. “But we're not relying on (any) one offer to get them in the door. It's the complete package of value added: WOW!, great pricing from the get-go, it's everything."

More than half-way there: Andonian eyes 30 Evans Tire stores in San Diego county

Evans Tire & Service Centers has 16 stores in California's San Diego County, with two more planned this year. President John Andonian estimates there are 2.1 million people and 800,000 households in the area.

"It's been stable the last couple years because the housing market has kicked in and people can't afford to leave here anymore," he says.

"There's probably potential for 30 locations in this market." He has no plans to go outside San Diego County.

Andonian will buy an existing building or build from the ground up. "Location is what's important. If we get the location, we can make it work."

Evans Tire sells Goodyear, Michelin, Falken, Pirelli, Dunlop, Nankang, Republic and BFGoodrich tires and wheels. It also offers under-car service, oil changes and some fluid maintenance.

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