TBC Retail Group's business is always going in circles, but that just makes it well-rounded. A subsidiary of private-brand tire supplier TBC, the company operates more than 730 Tire Kingdom, National Tire and Battery, and Merchant's tire and automotive service outlets in more than 20 states. It also has about 490 Big O Tires retail franchises. TBC Retail's locations market such national brands as Michelin, Goodyear, and Uniroyal, as well as its parent's own Sigma brand. (Tire sales account for about 60% of business.) Operations abroad are handled by TBC International. The company began in 1972 inside a stall at the West Palm Beach Farmers Market. Until 2009 it operated as Tire Kingdom.
The company's name change reflects its broader focus on its retail operations. TBC Retail has placed more emphasis on its service offerings, which generate about 40% of revenue and have seen increased demand amid the economic downturn in the US. Tightened credit standards, higher unemployment, and declining new vehicle sales in recent years have led to vehicles being on the roads longer, which has made automotive and tire maintenance a bigger part of business. TBC Retail locations provide such services as brake repairs, suspension system replacements, and oil changes.
Before adopting a new name, the firm tapped Orland Wolford as its president and CEO. Wolford had led the Tire Kingdom retail stores unit since 2000. – less