UK tyre retail: following pack growing fastest

Mind the gap! The gap between the top players and between the top five and top 10 is closing

Continuing our coverage of developments in the UK tyre retail sector, Tyres & Accessories reports on the following 15 companies in its 2014 top 20 leading UK tyre retailers report. After the market leading five, the next five companies in the top 20 are the fastest growing in our ranking, and probably in the market as a whole. Like Micheldever/Protyre, McConechy’s Tyre Service has grown significantly since our last survey, adding seven branches to its number and pushing its total up to 52. This brings the company’s total back to pre-recessionary levels and could be read as another indication of improving conditions in the market.

The fastest growth in the market took place in seventh position, which saw Malvern Tyres Group add some 11 branches to its overall total. Bringing the company to a new total of 51 branches, this latest expansion continues a significant trend and has come by virtue of some strategic and timely acquisitions. The latest of these was the purchase of Bristol-based BITS, which is now 100 per cent owned by Malvern Tyres Group, according to records help at Companies House. This equates to a 76 per cent growth rate in the period and means that, were such rapid growth to continue, we could be looking at a chain of 92 branches in five years time. And once again this can be read as a redistribution of the distribution of tyre retail branches in the UK away from the overwhelming historical dominance of the companies at the top of the tree. The growth also means that are now three 50+ retail chains in the UK outside the top four. This is the first time this has happened since we began consciously tracking this data.

Slower in the middle

With the exception of two additional branches at Mr Tyre, things have been stable for the rest of the top 10 and the third quadrant appears relatively flat as well except perhaps Scottish retailer Farmer Autocare, which has grown consistently (albeit slowly) from 13 five years ago to 17 branches today.

However 15th to 20th place has been more active. Most noteably Tanvic Tyres grew five depots, up from 9 to 16 outlets in total. This five branch increase is the fourth fastest growing in the whole top ten and represents the highest percentage increase of any company in the top 20. And finally the fact that Lodge Tyres grew two branches to 13 in 2013/2014 means it piped Dexel Tyres (12 branches) to the post for 20th place in our ranking.

As we can see from this year’s top retailer ranking and from our analysis a branch attrition trend can be clearly identified at the top of the table (both in the last year and over the 5 years covered). Meanwhile, a growing pack of circa 50-branch chains in the next five has been closing the gap between itself and the clear market leaders. All in all, while the top players are still dominant, their numerical prevalence is declining as the chasing pack grows. Or in other words, there is some rightsizing and redistribution going on.

Read more about our 2014 UK tyre retail sector report here.

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