Micheldever targets accelerated growth with Protyre expansion
Micheldever Tyre Services says it will “begin the biggest period of expansion in its 43 year history” this year, with a large expansion of its Protyre retail network planned over the next 18 months. The wholesaler posted revenues exceeding £322m last year, selling 6 million tyres through 8,500 fast fit centres – including its own Protyre branded retail sites. Current low-end estimates could put this figure at around one in every five tyres replaced by UK motorists.
Micheldever says it wants to increase this number to 7.5m tyres over the next four years, outlining two major strategies for doing so. The company states that it wants to help its wholesale and distribution partners become the best replacement tyre retailer in their locality. In order to do this, Micheldever says it will provide wholesale customers with competitive mid-range products and geographic exclusivity, in-depth market intelligence, a credible online presence, and marketing support. Micheldever believes it can empower independent outlet owners to operate and promote their businesses more efficiently.
Secondly, ambitious acquisition plans will see the 63-strong Protyre retail network expand to over 100 sites within 18 months. (See our recent article on the UK tyre retail landscape for more context.)
Chief executive Duncan Wilkes explains: “Our wholesale customers represent over £230m in annual sales and are fundamental to our planned growth. Our partnership approach is unique within this sector and engenders greater loyalty and lock-in. Meanwhile, our Protyre division now retails over one million replacement tyres each year and is on track to grow by a further 40 per cent in the next 18 months. New sites will take our exclusive tyre brands into fresh geographic territories, whilst respecting our existing wholesale customers.”
Micheldever’s offer blends traditional premium tyre brands with exclusive mid-range “house brands”, comprising Falken, Kumho, General Tire and GT Radial, for which it retains the distribution rights. Micheldever says this mix enables its high volume and small independent fitting customers to remain highly competitive and protect profit margins by offering products across a range of price points to match market demand.
The mid-range strategy, continues Micheldever, are helping sales to the growing number of consumers trading down from premium brands to less expensive mid-range or budget tyres.
“Micheldever is well positioned to capitalise on this trend,” continues Wilkes. “By offering high-quality mid-range tyres capable of matching more established brands in most cases, we are attracting these more frugal customers without compromising either our reputation for trust and expertise, or our commercial integrity.”