Discount Tire Company Marketing Activities

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explain and evaluate the marketing activities of Discount Tire Company. The name Discount Tire Company and the abbreviation DTC may be used interchangeably within this paper. It is my intent to expound upon the marketing activities that have made this company so successful. I contend that, in a down economy, these marketing activities have allowed the company to remain ahead of its competition. Discount Tire Company was founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1960 by Bruce T. Halle. Mr. Halle had already owned several other businesses before starting this one. His store, which was located in an old gas station, did not have the space for inventory, nor did it have much equipment to speak of. He
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Locations are not picked at random, and a great deal of research goes into the selection process. One of the first things to look at is whether or not a particular area can support the addition of a store. Sales figures from existing stores are considered to ensure that adding a store will not have a parasitic effect. If there are no existing stores in a given area, the issue is whether or not the area can support building a new store. In choosing a site location, certain criteria must be considered; population density, median household income, traffic count, competitor proximity, lot size, ease of access, and visibility of the site. DTC rarely leases property, but rather builds most of their locations from the ground up. This means that lot size, visibility, and accessibility are very important considerations in the selection process. One of the most dramatic changes to the way that DTC conducts business is the proliferation of the internet, and web-based sales. In the late 90's, DTC started its website "tires.com" to serve as an informational tool to help customers research product and find stores in their area. In the early days of this new system, customers could pick out their product, reserve it, and have it installed at a nearby retail store. Soon after, it was evident that if customers were able to purchase online, then DTC would be able to compete with Tire Rack, their largest online competitor. So, "discounttiredirect.com" was born, which propelled sales to a new level. This new e-commerce venture exposed them to many people in areas where a retail location was not present (they were only in 20 states at the time). They were a late comer to online tire sales, but have parlayed it into a very successful piece of the total sales model. Market share varies in different parts of the country, but with so many stores open, and with internet sales holding strong,

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