The Tire Source has expanded its five-store dealership in northeast Ohio with the purchase of Defer Tire in Streetsboro. The addition gives the company six stores in Medina, Montrose, North Canton, South Canton, Belden Village and Streetsboro, respectively.
"The acquisition of Defer Tire complements our expansion plans beautifully," says Tire Source owner Tom White. "Our motto regarding that topic is that we grow where it makes sense to grow. Art Blumenthal zeroed in on the possibilities and shared what I came to realize after meeting with Mark Defer and doing financial due diligence of the proposal… that this is a perfect fit for our family of stores demographically and geographically. "With 12 bays, it’s a very large outlet with an eye-catching building design of which a business owner can be proud. In addition, we have learned that we want to make the transition of new locations as easily as possible, and being matched up with Mark, who is a business owner with all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted, has expedited that process. We will be changing over to be a Goodyear G3X dealer selling Goodyear, Dunlop, and Kelly and also offering Continental, General, and Hercules, with the clear marketing message to our customers that we can get them any brand they want."
Originally founded in 1979 in a small three-bay facility with two employees, Defer Tire later moved into a more than 10,000-square-foot facility. Owner Mark Defer was contemplating retirement after almost forty years of ownership, and made the needs of his longtime customers and employees top priorities in his exit planning strategy.
"As I pondered plans to retire, I pictured a future for the business, which included a continuation of honest, reliable service to our many customers, as well as a place of employment which treated its employees well," he said. "Multiple generations of local families have been our customers, and I didn’t want to let them down. Some of our valued employees have tenures of over 20 years with us and deserve having their service recognized and respected by new management."
Defer’s actions post-sale demonstrate the sincerity of his wishes. "As the transition progresses, so far I’ve been at the store on a daily basis, and the plan worked out between Tom and myself is to continue doing that in the role of a consultant/ambassador for the foreseeable future… probably for at least a year," he said. "It’s ironic that before the sale, I had the strong desire to stop working, but now that I am no longer the owner with the inherent myriad problems and sleepless nights, I feel reinvigorated and thoroughly enjoy working alongside the employees with the store’s customers in a way that I haven’t for a long time. The buck no longer stops here, so I can have a good time.”
Art Blumenthal, owner of Art Blumenthal LLC, helped bring the two parties together. His company provides business intermediary and advisory services to both buyers and sellers of industry businesses of all sizes.
“Right now in 2018, economic condition forecasts and renewed business optimism are fueling growth activities among expansion minded organizations looking to leverage their economies of scale and team resources," he said.