In addition to reporting strong first quarter 2020 sales growth, Tirescanner reports that it has added more locations, and has added three new senior figures to its ranks. Graeme Bissett, previously chairman at TireScanner founder Mike Welch’s previous tyre business Blackcircles.com for 12 years, will advise the board on governance, finance and strategic matters.
Tirescanner, the US-based tyre e-commerce, has announced sales and customer growth of 400 per cent in the quarter covering January, February and March 2020. April and May have continued the same trend with the company predicting another record quarter.
The Tire Industry Association (TIA), which lobbies for tyre safety in the USA, has announced the nominations for the 2019 Board of Directors. Four individuals will be elected to serve on the TIA Board for a three-year term. The voting period will end on Sunday 1 September 2019.
After years of expansion amongst the top 20 UK tyre retailers, the latest data shows that this trend peaked in 2017/2018 when the top 20 accounted for 2014 branches. The same 20 tyre retailers had 1980 branches between them in 2018/2019. And what’s more, the reorganisation of one retailer alone accounted for a 40-centre decline in branch count, with the overall figure remaining positive due to growth at other chains. Here Tyres & Accessories analyses the branch count data in the context of 10 years of comparable research.
Well-known online tyre retail business Blackcircles has launched a website in Thailand. The business, which entrepreneur Mike Welch OBE founded at the turn of the millennium and sold to Michelin for £50 million in 2015, can be found at blackcircles.co.th.
Full Circle Partners, the investment advisory firm co-founded by Blackcircles.com founder Mike Welch has launched a new property fund. FCP Property Development Fund will provide loans ranging from £250,000 to £2.5 million. It has reportedly already invested approximately £6 million and could raise that to £20 million in the next year or so.
As reported at the start of the month, an eBay tyre fitting service is now available in the UK in partnership with Blackcircles.com. The service was launched at the time of the year when the days grow shorter and motorists should prepare their vehicles, particularly their tyres, for winter roads. Kevin Steward, head of sales, Vehicle Parts & Accessories, UK Trading at eBay, has written the following tips for tyre sellers hoping to capitalise on this season’s winter tyre market.
The tyre fitting partnership between eBay and Blackcircles.com trialled in 2016 is back. Promoted as a “fitting option for seamless tyre buying experience,” the new arrangement allows for the fitment of more than 10,000 unique tyre products purchased via the ebay.co.uk site at one of more than Blackcircles 1,200 partner locations throughout the country.
Mike Welch, the founder of UK online tyre retail website Blackcircles.com, has been appointed to the board of US online tyre retailer SimpleTire. Welch has taken up the position of strategic advisor for the company, which sources inventory from independent suppliers and ships to the customer’s chosen location.
Michelin has launched Click2Sell – a website solution the company refers to as “a flexible ‘website in a box’ that helps dealers build their online presence and attract new customers with ease”.
While wholesalers have done similar things, Click2Sell is believed to be the only tyre manufacturer-backed website-building package to allow dealerships in the UK and Ireland the freedom to promote their chosen tyre range online. And, what’s more, the range can be either primarily Michelin tyres or a premium competitor. Click2Sell is open to any dealership.
Mike Welch’s global aspirations for Blackcircles.com pre-date the Scottish company’s acquisition by Michelin, however the tyre maker has provided a platform for expansion, and over the coming year Blackcircles will work towards establishing a presence on the other side of the world. Speaking with The Scotsman, the founder and chief executive officer shared that consumers in Asia Pacific will soon get to know the Blackcircles way of buying tyres.
ATS Euromaster, in partnership with Blackcircles, has opened its second quick tyre change facility at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex, following the success of the first Pit Stop location in Cambridge.
Blackcircles.com, the UK’s leading online tyre retailer, reported a steep increase in sales from new customers during June. According to the company, this includes 80 per cent who have never previously bought tyres online. The metrics indicate that tyre retailing, which has traditionally lagged online adoption in other sectors like banking and travel, is going through something of a transformation.
With Michelin buying a stake in Allopneus as well as the complete Blackcircles business in the Spring; and with Apollo purchasing Reifen.com in November, it is fair to say we witnessed a trend towards manufacturer investment in online tyre businesses this year. Dig a little deeper and we are beginning to learn more about how tyre manufacturers are approaching this unavoidably important strategic area. With 2015 being something of a landmark year in this respect, Tyres & Accessories met with Blackcircles founder and managing director Mike Welch in Edinburgh to find out more.