Jason Clarke has joined retail network ETB’s wholesale department, heading a list of structural changes at the company. The Welsh tyre trade expert has 25 years’ industry experience, including positions at Cooper Avon, United Tyres, Malvern Tyres, and King David Tyres. Other changes at ETB include Dave Isles’ promotion to operations director, overseeing all ETB wholesale warehouses, and sales manager Ashley Harford, who now runs the sales team from the company’s Blackpole office. Finally, Gemma Ivill will shortly take up a role of supporting ETB’s margin improvement plan to help with its continuing and ambitious expansion programme.
Bridgestone-owned retailer ETB (Exhausts, Tyres and Batteries), has reported a 40 per cent reduction in accidents and is set for insurance savings of up to £30,000 following the introduction of the Webfleet fleet management platform. The Software-as-a-Service) SaaS system from Bridgestone-owned Webfleet Solutions, which has been integrated with forward and reverse Mantis Live cameras, has been rolled out across ETB’s 100-strong tyre delivery fleet, comprising both HGVs and vans.
DriveRightData is partnering with Bridgestone, providing tyre identification and product matching capabilities data for the tyre manufacturer’s recently-launched Mobox monthly tyre and car maintenance subscription service. DriveRightData information supplied includes brand name, product name, description, tyre and tread images, tyre size, pressure, rim size, load and speed index, run-flat capability, EU required labelling information and barcodes.
Bridgestone and ETB Autocentres have introduced the Mobox all-inclusive monthly tyre subscription service in the UK. First piloted in 25 First Stop stores across France in October 2017, Mobox has now been expanded to 30 Speedy shops in France and 20 First Stop stores in Spain since June 2018. The programme was rolled out in other European nations in 2019 and now makes its UK debut.
Bridgestone has bought all the shares of ETB. ETB – otherwise known as Exhaust Tyres Batteries and Britannia Tyres – runs 32 different locations, with 265 employees assisting more than 10,000 customers a month. The news follows the sale of Bridgestone’s Kingsway tyre retail business in the East England to Lodge Tyre in September 2017. More widely, Bridgestone has been behind a series of high-profile tyre retail acquisitions across the major European tyre markets.
Both ETB and Britannia Tyres will continue operating under their current identities and with their current team, with founder Charles Ivill continuing to direct operations from the ETB company headquarters in Worcester.
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.
Exhausts, Tyres & Batteries Worcester Ltd has invested in CAM Cloud to host its Cameo system in CAM’s data centre. CAM states that the managed service provides quality and convenient maintenance of its server and backup solution at its site on the Blackpole trading estate.
Grouptyre’s 20th year has been marked by several new developments, including the appointment of Gary Oliver as its new chairman of the board of directors, new warehouse expansions for members, and the continued development of e-Commerce models on the wholesale (GroupLink) and retail (Tyres Online) sides – for more on the latter, see this month’s Online Tyre Business feature.
When looking for new premises for its expanding wholesale operation, Grouptyre member ETB looked no further than across the road from its existing site in St Austell. The 35-year old family-run company services tyre retailers across the South West, Mid and South Wales and the Midlands from its four warehouses which are located in Worcester, Exeter, Bridgend and St Austell.
A former fitter who has worked for more than 25 years in a family-run business specialising in exhausts, tyres and batteries has been appointed as a director of the company. Paul Nunn, 43, from Stourport-on-Severn, will sit on the board of directors at Worcester-based ETB (Exhaust, Tyres & Batteries).