Walmart is ‘Driving Customers to My Door’

Jan. 26, 2016

Dear Editor,

I can certainly sympathize with the Herchick family (per your editorial in the November 2015 issue of Modern Tire Dealer). Having only started eight years earlier, we can all look back at better times.

We, too, are in the same boat as the Herchicks — whereas they have auto service to supplement tire sales we have the retreading to help. There is no way we could survive at selling new tires only.

I can only suggest something that I am sure they must be doing already, and that is maintain quality, friendly service and assistance. That alone creates a difference between your store and say, a Walmart or other chain.

I cannot tell you how much help Walmart’s lousy service department has given us, driving customers to my door. And our county has five of them!

Dave Richards Jr., President, Canton Bandag Co., Canton, Ohio

Question of the month

Each month we ask members of our National Advisory Council (NAC) a question or questions on a current hot topic. This month we asked, “NASCAR, Major League Baseball, National Football League. Do you find tire companies’ involvement in sports marketing helpful? How do you tie in with their promotions? Is one sport better than another in your area? Which one and why?” Here are some of their responses.

  1. I do not find much direct feedback from my customers concerning tire companies’ involvement is sports. I cannot remember the last time a customer asked about an ad he or she saw while watching sports. That said, yes I believe advertising on sports broadcasts helps sell automotive service and tires. As for the sport, hockey is better for the northern states and Canada, and golf is better for the southern states.
  2. I feel that the tire manufacturers’ involvement in sports marketing is good. A lot of people are passionate toward their sports teams and drivers. The continual advertising in this field helps people feel familiar with the product. Hankook was put on the map with this kind of marketing. We support the manufacturers’ promotions and rebates that, in turn, support this kind of marketing.
  3. I think NFL is the best in this area, followed by college football, then Major League Baseball. We try to mimic any promotions they may have running.
  4. I don’t think tire manufacturers tie their promotions in very well to the field! There are no POS displays in any of the retail outlets that tie their sports marketing together, nor do they do promotions or promote their activities to the street! I think it is a big waste of money unless it can be tied into a yearly event at the retail counter!
  5. When Goodyear learns something on a NASCAR racetrack, invariably those lessons and technology are eventually rolled into consumer tires. With one of the most recognizable brands in the world, high visibility with NASCAR and many other sporting events with aerial coverage provided by the Goodyear blimp — we find our brand’s sports marketing very helpful in not only building the brand but by keeping our brand on the top of people’s minds.

What’s on your mind?

We also asked our NAC what was on their mind. They responded with:

I would love it if you did a story on Sandone Tire, in Scranton, Pa. In late August 2015, Sandone Tires’ warehouse caught on fire. Their entire tire inventory was ruined. Pat Sandone and Mike Sandone are of retirement age. They had the perfect opportunity to retire from a successful career owning a tire business. I talked with them to give them my support in any way. They told me that they could not quit. They had a lot of employees and quitting was not an option. They could not turn their backs on the people who helped them build a successful tire business. The Sandone brothers have made me proud. It is nice, in this day and age, to see people with such integrity and ethics in our industry.

Jeff Cohen, Co-owner, Traction Wholesale Center, Bensalem, Pa.

What’s still on my mind is the 1,000 year flood event earlier this year across the midlands of South Carolina. It has removed a substantial amount of disposable income from the marketplace. Consumer purchases of tires and services seem to be adversely affected.

Tripp Lee, General Manager, Frasier Tire Service Inc., Sumter, S.C.

To read more Your Turn columns, click:

What's up with consumer tire prices?

Note to tire manufacturers: 'You can't have your cake and eat it, too'

Tire registration: voluntary or mandatory? Readers respond

About the Author

Bob Ulrich

Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000 and retired in January 2020. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and had been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993. He won numerous awards for editorial and feature writing, including five gold medals from the International Automotive Media Association. Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University and has a law degree from the University of Akron.