Southern Tire Mart is buying 46 GCR Tires & Service (GCR) stores and six GCR retread plants from Bridgestone Americas.
In a joint press release, the companies said the purchase of these locations will allow Southern Tire Mart to serve more customers in markets where they currently operate, as well as expand its footprint to new geographic regions.
Founded in 1973, Southern Tire Mart is a provider of commercial truck tires, off-the-road tires and Bandag retreads. The company is based in Columbia, Mississippi, and currently operates more than 90 commercial truck tire centers in 10 states.
“As the largest commercial tire dealer in the U.S., our mission is to provide customers with best-in-class tires and service. To achieve this, we need a strong network of stores that are staffed by experts in the tire and service industry,” said Jim and Tom Duff of Southern Tire Mart.
“The purchase of these GCR locations allows us to expand our footprint in the Southern U.S. while also bringing more knowledge and expertise to our team.”
The GCR stores and retread plants being purchased by Southern Tire Mart are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, the Florida Panhandle, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. These locations currently serve customers in the commercial trucking, off-the-road and agriculture industries.
“At Bridgestone, we continually evaluate and evolve our distribution strategies to ensure we are meeting the needs of fleet customers across our company-owned GCR stores and the independent dealer channel,” said Scott Damon, president, commercial group, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “We believe partnering with Southern Tire Mart allows us to further strengthen our commercial tire distribution network and position the growth of our brands and fleet solutions.”
Bridgestone will continue to operate more than 130 GCR stores across the U.S. and Canada. Bridgestone says GCR remains an important part of the company’s commercial distribution strategy as a leading provider of commercial tires and service in key geographic markets.
But Bridgestone has sold off some of the GCR assets previously.
In August 2017 Bridgestone sold six of its GCR locations in the Northeast to another large commercial tire dealer: McCarthy Tire Service Inc. That sale included locations in five markets: Baltimore, Maryland.; Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.; Albany, Binghamton, and Horseheads, New York.
As of the timing of the GCR-McCarthy deal, there were “more than 200” GCR locations in North America.
Southern Tire Mart and the GCR stores included in the sale will conduct business separately until the transaction closes, which is expected to occur in the next 30 days. The stores will be transitioned from GCR to Southern Tire Mart following closing. GCR says it remains focused on meeting the needs of fleet customers and has a strong plan in place to ensure a seamless transition.
This article originally appeared in Modern Tire Dealer, a Bobit Business Media publication.