American Tire Distributors Inc.’s Tire Pros franchise program has 440 “owner-operators” who represent 609 locations, according to Tire Pros President Greg Bell. He says the group wants 2,000 locations within the next five years. “But I don’t want to stop there.”
“The industry looks considerably different than it did 15 years ago, both in the retail marketplace and the manufacturing and distribution arenas,” says Dave Marks, president and CEO of the Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC. “It’s impacting all sides of the market.”
"None of us in the business today — and probably the last couple of generations — has had any kind of experience” like COVID-19, says Dominic Umek, group business leader at Cleveland, Ohio,-based Conrad’s Tire Express & Total Car Care.
When CEO and President Stuart Schuette recently explained to American Tire Distributors Inc. associates why the company was downsizing its Field Support Center, the letter was long on strategic intiatives and short on details.
Bill Leach had wanted to expand beyond his one-store tire business in Paola, Kan., for some time. So when he finally found the perfect location for a second store, about 30 miles away in Baldwin City, Kan., he was ready to roll. And one decision at least was an easy one.