Wholesaling and Retailing In a Difficult Market
Magowan Tyres is a family-owned and run retail and wholesale tyre business, based in Belfast. The founder, Darryl Magowan, has been in the tyre industry for more than three decades and is still in charge of the overall direction of the company.
His son, also called Darryl, is managing director of the company and his speciality is purchasing. With the Northern Ireland market being, in his phrase, “exceptionally price conscious”, it is a distinct advantage if you can buy cleverly. Magowan is very active on the parallel market, importing around eight containers a month from Europe and the USA.
For almost 20 years, Magowan Tyres was purely a retail business, moving into wholesaling only three years ago. I put it to Darryl Magowan (Jr.) that this was an odd time to enter the wholesale sector, with rising transportation and associated costs. His response was that the company had examined the situation carefully and weighed up the pros and cons. The main reason was that there was a growing demand in the Irish market for ultra high performance tyres and a lack of wholesale supply.
The main market for Magowan Tyres is Northern Ireland, especially Belfast, where the company offers deliveries up to five or six times a day, if required. The service in the Irish Republic is less frequent, but a next-day delivery is standard. Because of the low density of population, which, apart from the major towns and cities, is very spread out, running a wholesale operation efficiently and profitably means keeping a close eye on day to day running.