Dunn Tire hopes new location is a model for future stores

Aug. 3, 2006

Dunn Tire LLC, one of the largest tire dealerships in the United States, has opened a new 6,000-square-foot store in Erie, Pa. It replaces a smaller store.

The custom-built, $800,000 building fetures kiosks and a more open, inviting ambiance within the store. There is no counter separating the customer from the salesperson.

"The store is significantly bigger and much more customer-friendly," says Pat Logue, managing director of retail operations. "With no barrier between the salesperson and the customer, there is more of a person-to-person commitment.

"By putting both individuals right next to the product, it allows the two to work as a team to find the right tires for the vehicle."

Logue says the store is going to be a model for future stores. "This is a new concept and we anticipate that we will take this approach as we upgrade our other 25 stores with a similar approach."

According to Dunn Tire, the new store exemplifies the efforts of one of its signature products, Kelly tires. Kelly is an associate brand of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

"Kelly knows that the person buying the tire is going to rely on the recommendation of the counter person, and we know that a good percentage of the population does not even know the size of their tires," says Craig Wallick, Goodyear's national sales manager select. "It's easy for them to feel intimidated or uneasy in buying a critical component of their vehicle."

Goodyear is working with Kelly dealers on training and point-of-sale materials to break down the barrier between brand and dealer. "We know our customers care more about ride, warranty and noise reduction than they do about the UTQG rating," adds Wallick.

Dunn Tire is the 38th largest independent tire store chain in the U.S., according to Modern Tire Dealer.