First Stop welcomes Harlow-based Uncle Tom’s Motorist Centre to network
The extension of First Stop’s fast fit network has continued to accelerate with the addition of Uncle Tom’s Motorist Centre. The Harlow based garage’s owner Laurence Nicholls has 45 years of experience, making Uncle Tom’s a mainstay in the community. He said the decision to become a First Stop partner would enable his business to continue improving and adding more strings to its bow.
“Becoming a First Stop member will give us access to new information and a greater scope for buying direct. Their relationship with such a premium brand like Bridgestone is also a strong selling-point, with the strength of the national network also providing a number of benefits to us,” Nicholls said.
“I started when I was 13 years old, when I was working as a tea boy. Within a year I’d moved on to wheel balancing, then I’d graduated to tyre fitting. Finally, in 1976 I started my own business. Has the industry changed much in the last four decades? Just a bit, we’ve moved from cross-ply to radial, for one thing. When I started, you didn’t even have inner tubes!”
First Stop’s partner manager Mike Glover said its plan was to keep on developing the network and giving motorists more compelling reasons to visit one of its centres for repairs and maintenance.
Glover calls the First Stop business model a “soft franchise” proposition and, being the retail arm of Bridgestone, he believes that the network is in a strong position to succeed: “The benefit of working with Bridgestone is that we work directly with the world’s largest tyre manufacturer, before providing some outstanding premium products to motorists.”