As can be seen in the top 10 table published yesterday, Halfords Autocentres remains in second place nationally in our 2021 ranking of the UK’s largest retail operations by branch count. Continuing our three-article series on this subject, today’s instalment focuses on places 11 to 20 and finds that the medium to large sized positions are increasingly being taken by autocentre style businesses that make as much money from parts and repairs as they do from tyres (and more than traditional fast fits).
BA Bush & Son Ltd has recently moved into new head offices in Horncastle as part of planned expansion. According to the company, the new offices provide not only more space but also a large meeting and conference room and more opportunity for the team to work together across sales, marketing, and finance once Covid-19 regulations permit.
BA Bush & Son Ltd has become the exclusive UK distributor of Ascenso tyres. With the first container having already arrived in the UK and a significant ‘stocking up’ programme underway, BA Bush reports that new sizes are set to be introduced each month. BA Bush will sell Ascenso tyres predominantly through its trade business BAB Distribution but will also stock Ascenso tyres through their Bush Tyres retail branches.
BA Bush, the 17th largest tyre retailer in the UK – according to our 2020 report – was amongst the first to publish its response to the news of lockdown 3.0. In essence, BA Bush reiterated that it is remaining open for business just as it did in the short “circuit-breaker” lockdown before Christmas 2020.
Bush Tyres is set to open three new locations during the next couple of weeks. First off, the company is opening retail centres in Norwich and Immingham. In addition, Bush Tyres has invested in a new 70,000 square foot warehouse as well.
Outside of the top five, there is a certain degree of stability amongst the remaining five companies. Those in sixth, seventh and eighth position (McConechy’s, The Tyre Group and Lodge) appear to have remained stable in terms of branch count, with 61, 58 and 40 branches respectively. However, it is worth considering all this in the context of ULM Services Ltd the fleet-orientated cooperation Universal, Lodge and McConechy’s set up during 2017. Put those three partners together and we have 119 branches and another strong contender for fifth position on the table.
Grouptyre founding member BA Bush has opened two new sites in Norwich and Knaresborough, helping towards its three-year growth plan and adding strategic locations. The two new sites represent the company’s first stage of growth, with further new sites planned before the end of 2019. The group says it is targeting a £60 million turnover in 2018.
In last year’s ranking of the top tyre retailers in the UK, Tyres & Accessories predicted that the pace of change in the top 20 chains by branch count would result in some jostling for position. This has proved entirely accurate, as two major acquisitions have brought two of 2017’s top 20 into the fold of higher ranked companies, leading to both Micheldever/Protyre, leapfrogging HiQ into fourth place as predicted last year, and Lodge Tyre, into the top 10 from joint-14th last year, making significant jumps in this year’s table. Most other retailers have held relatively stable positions in terms of the number of stores, while our most recent additions to the table, Eden Tyres (15 stores) and Elite Garages (13) were identified as narrowly missing out on places last year.
Grouptyre founding member Bush Tyres is celebrating 70 years in business this year. The family-owned company has earned a reputation as Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire’s leading independent tyre specialist, in both retail and wholesale, with its place within Grouptyre helping to form a nationally successful business.