Grouptyre incorporates Landsail, Rapid into brand strategy
Since the dissolution of its exclusive distribution agreement with the Maxxis brand, Grouptyre has continued to evolve, both in terms of the service offered by members and its brand strategy. While the wholesaler’s managing director, Karl Naylor said that it was “no longer in our customers’ interests for us to be over-dependent on one primary push brand”, the company has been particularly active in relation to its Evergreen brand, extending the Evergreen Performance Centre programme to retailers. In addition, the company has introduced the brands Landsail and Rapid, both of which are focussed on the end of the market particularly sensitive to economic pressure. As it has built the profile and image of Evergreen, manufactured by Jinyu Tire, these brands – also made in China respectively by the Sentaida and Shengtai Groups – have allowed Grouptyre members access to newer, less established margin brands simultaneously.
Grouptyre has evolved over the last few years to consist now of 10 regional wholesalers. As part of a national organisation, Grouptyre says its member companies are able to offer a wealth of benefits to retailers – Grouptyre’s strong relationship with the tyre manufacturers ensures that retailers can access competitively priced products to offer their customers, with an extensive range of exclusive margin brand products, including Evergreen, Federal and Goodride. The company says its complete dealer packages, with competitively priced margin boosting products, access to exclusive dealer promotions, point of sale material and merchandise, make more sense now for the retailer, with profitability increasingly pressured. Grouplink, Grouptyre’s online ordering service, enables dealers to access information on current stock levels and availability at the touch of a button, as well as pricing information, so they can offer their customers the wide choice of products in the local warehouse, knowing they have a fast and frequent delivery service.
“The industry has experienced some very difficult trading conditions which are likely to continue for the foreseeable future”, says Karl Naylor, Grouptyre’s managing director, “but we are proud that as an organisation, we’ve demonstrated our commitment and dedication to our customer base, by staying true to our values and providing exceptional services levels – we haven’t reduced our service to cut costs.”
Grouptyre also stresses its members’ and owners’ independence and lack of conflicting interests. “Each of our family businesses are managed by their owners,” says Naylor, “with small teams who are knowledgeable about their local markets and customer needs. We are not part of any larger entity with investments in a multitude of industries across the world, and so we are just as reliant on the health and success of the UK tyre industry as our local independent customers are. Therefore our focus will remain on developing our strength and offering within the industry, and continuing to support our loyal customers.”
The Grouptyre member companies offer services such as daily to multiple same-day deliveries – even on demand in many areas. The collective fleet of over 400 delivery vehicles nationwide operates from 37 distribution points. Grouptyre has a combined stock holding of one million tyres at any one time, from the fastest moving to the more niche and slow moving sizes. The company’s team of business development managers also offers a wealth of experience in the tyre industry.
Oak Tyres expands
Grouptyre member, Oak Tyres has expanded into a new larger head office and warehousing complex in Haydock, Merseyside following recent growth. According to Oak’s finance director Andrew Burgess, the company’s 2010 accounts record annual sales of just over £30 million, a figure that has now grown to £50 million a year. “It was clear we needed much bigger premises,” says finance director Andrew Burgess, “At the new warehouse we can carry a much more comprehensive stock so our customers get what they need that much faster. We can now make operational efficiencies too, and again that means better service and keener prices.”
Oak’s sales director, Don McIntyre says its growth in recent times – within the context of economic turmoil – has been achieved through its reliability of service, including carrying “the right stock at very competitive prices”: “In a challenging economic climate, all this matters more than ever – our partners need to be sure they are being supported by the wholesaler with the best service levels in the industry.”
McIntyre also stressed the importance of Grouptyre’s brand portfolio: “The Evergreen Performance Centre package is now strongly established in some of the leading tyre retailers across the UK, exclusively available from Grouptyre. It’s a package of wide-ranging support and rewards combined with competitive pricing and Evergreen’s unrivalled product quality. Hype aside, the fact is retailers genuinely benefit, and that in a nutshell, is why the brand package has been so successful. It’s why we and our retailers have enjoyed the success that we continue to see today.”
Oak says the Grouptyre portfolio’s two new brands for 2012, Landsail and Rapid are proving popular, offering “a dependable economy option for today’s cash-strapped consumers,” while complementing Oak’s more established Evergreen and Goodride brands. “We’ve been actively scouring the world to develop partnerships with new suppliers,” explained Don McIntyre, “it’s how we get to bring the best deals to our customers from new and emerging state-of-the-art factories.”
Oak Tyres has also seen a surge of interest in non tyre products. The last 12 months have seen the company offer its largest range of tyre fitting consumables and equipment to date. The emphasis is on ease of ordering through straightforward online systems, backed the attentive service that Oak has always centred operations on.