Don’t give up on tyres
23 December 2013
Once again I find myself writing about my experiences in the retail world, and once again (after last weeks holiday booking) it is good news for franchised retailers.
A slow puncture (arent modern tyre pressure warning systems great?) meant an unscheduled trip to Kwik-Fit.
I chose Kwik-Fit because it was on my way to the supermarket for the weekly shop and also because Ive been there before and they repaired my puncture quickly. I was hoping for more of the same.
Unfortunately, this time I needed a new tyre and I wanted a match for the Bridgestones on the other three corners. The receptionist told me that Kwik-Fit had fallen out with Bridgestone over their pricing policy, so we dont sell Bridgestones any more.
However, he said there may be some left in the network. He found me a tyre; it was £440. My jaw dropped.
I searched via my mobile for better prices. I soon found a match for well under £300 and walked out feeling thankful it was a slow puncture. I then did more searching online to find prices very similar, but that often didnt include fitting or needed to be delivered to me first.
Thats when I phoned my local franchised retailer, who quoted an all-inclusive figure that was competitive. So, by the time you read this Ill have nipped in to my nearest Mazda dealer, had my tyre replaced and saved nearly £200.
According to Trend Tracker, tyres are the first point at which customers defect from the franchised network. But as Ive seen, even against the fast-fits and online tyre firms, franchised retailers can still win on price.
So if theres one thing you look at while preparing for the New Year, why not think about promoting your tyre programme?
And if you want to know more about tyre programmes and the state of the UK market, Januarys Auto Retail Bulletin has, as it happens, a report looking at this very subject. If youre not a subscriber, you can get a free trial.
Meantime, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2014.