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Pep Boys buys 10-store Florida Tire chain for $4.35 million

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 00:00

Florida Tire, Inc. has agreed to sell its 10 stores in the Orlando area to Pep Boys. The $4.35 million transaction is expected to close on Oct. 30.

In addition to offering Pep Boys’ range of automotive repair and maintenance services, the outlets will feature a full assortment of Goodyear, Dunlop and house-brand tires.

Annual sales of more than $14 million are anticipated.

“This acquisition fits squarely within our stated strategy to grow through Service & Tire Centers,” says Pep Boys CEO Mike Odell. “We are very excited to add 10 new Service & Tire Centers that will be able to immediately leverage the existing inventory, advertising and distribution employed by our eight Supercenters currently operating in Orlando,” he adds.

“To be able to expand our relationship with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. by featuring Goodyear-brand tires in the Orlando, Fla. market makes the transaction that much more attractive,” Odell points out.

Established by Douglas Bolt in 1987 as a single location at the corner of West Colonial Drive and Hiawassee Road, Florida Tire began opening new sites in 1991 with a second store in downtown Apopka.

Bolt’s stated principles were “honesty, integrity and pride in the job you do.”

Following his 1973 graduation from Bergen Tech Vocational School in Hackensack, N.J., Bolt purchased his first business in 1979 – “a small service station with only two bays that soon developed a reputation for top quality auto service and repairs,” attracting work from new car dealers selling both foreign and domestic nameplates. He sold the operation in ’87 as he and his family decided to settle in Orlando.

Once in Florida, Bolt started assembling a “team of professionals” representing “the finest staff of auto technicians and managers that Central Florida had to offer.”

With the addition of the 10 locations to its roster, Pep Boys now expects to open some 25 new Service & Tire Centers during fiscal 2009, ahead of its original 15-store target. Through individual-location purchases and small-chain acquisitions, the company is now approaching the high end of its goals – 40 new locations for fiscal 2010, and 80 for fiscal 2011, according to Odell.

Pep Boys currently has about 6,000 service bays in more than 570 retail stores throughout 35 states and Puerto Rico.

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