Point S Has Doubled Sales in 5 Years
Originally Published in Modern Tire Dealer, February 1, 2022, by Joy Kopcha
For the fifth straight year, Point S tire dealers in the U.S. recorded double-digit growth in tire unit sales. In 2021, units were up 17%.
In dollars, sales increased 24% compared to 2020.
Some of that increase can be attributed to higher tire prices, but Point S dealers had success, too. Same-store sales were up, and the increase reflects a full year of ownership of two more warehouses in Oregon that were previously operated by Northwest Wholesale.
Plus, the group added 20 stores in 2021. There are now 257 Point S locations in the U.S., and the footprint continues to expand in the middle of the country and eastward. Already in 2022 the first Point S store has opened in Missouri — Christian Point S in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Walter Lybeck, CEO of Tire Factory Inc., the cooperative that does business as Point S USA, says the group has “doubled sales since 2016.”
In other words, the group has doubled its sales since joining Point S.
A little history lesson
The cooperative was started in 1984 when owners of six tire dealerships starting pooling their orders to gain a little buying power. Klyde Thompson, owner of Del’s OK Point S in Astoria, Ore., was among those original owners. He says the six owners would meet in a parking lot in Beaverton, Ore., split up their tire orders and haul them back to their stores in their own trucks.
Eventually those owners grew and formed a cooperative. They branded their stores as Tire Factory but retained individual ownership and control. In 2015 Tire Factory announced its plans to join Point S, a banner with an international presence.
The transition was rough in the beginning. In 2015, Tire Factory dealers gave their cooperative a negative number for a Net Promoter Score.
In 2016 Lybeck was promoted to the top job and the group focused its attention and resources on helping dealers refresh and rebrand their stores. The Net Promoter Score — which boils down to whether tire dealers are happy with Point S and would recommend it to their peers — has increased dramatically since.
In 2021, Point S dealers scored the group at 70% — a record high.
Coming in 2022
Since the transition to Point S, the group has also scored individual stores on their appearance and customer service performance. Clint Young, chief operations officer, says 102 stores earned the group’s “top shop honors” with customer experience scores of at least 95%. Young says that’s 42 more stores since the last review.
About a third of Point S dealers are transitioning to the group’s All-Trac Platform, a digital tool that helps with scheduling of appointments, customer communication and vehicle inspection reports. In 2022 the group will be adding a consumer rewards program, and enhancing the ability to communicate with consumers via text and e-mail.
There’s also work underway with a new search tool so dealers can more easily search for and find the tires they need nationally.
Work on two new websites is underway — one to be used by Point S dealers’ wholesale customers, and another that will be rolled out for retail-facing consumers.
Point S dealers serve on the cooperative’s board of directors, and after nine years Eric Gill has stepped down as chairman of that board. Gill is the largest of all Point S tire dealers in the U.S. with 35 locations.
In 2020 the Oregon-based tire dealer bought 10 stores in the Northeast, making him a bi-coastal tire dealer with locations in Oregon, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Massachusetts.
Gill is handing the gavel to another veteran Point S tire dealer — Chris Cornelius, owner of Clair and Dee’s Point S Tire and Auto Service in Rexburg, Idaho. Cornelius has previously served six years as chairman of the cooperative’s board.