Tyre maker Goodyear India Ltd has announced its strategic initiative in organised tyre retailing aimed at strengthening its presence in the large tyre replacement market in the country. The company will make an investment of Rs 50 crore in opening 300 shop-in-shop exclusive retail outlets in India.
Antonio Capellini, Managing Director, Goodyear India Ltd, said, “This organised tyre-retailing format has proven to be very successful in other markets like China and the ASEAN countries, and is part of the global initiative to differentiate the Goodyear brand from competitors. The company will set up 50 shop-in-shop format branded stores by the end of 2006 and at least 250 more by the end of 2008. The first six stores would be opened in Chennai on August 24, followed by 12-15 stores in North, South and West region and 3-5 stores in the East region.”
On asked why Chennai, Capellini commented that Chennai was a very evolved market. “The success rate has been very good as the earlier stores we have opened there. In addition to offering customers the whole range of latest Goodyear tyres, these showrooms will also offer customers a range of value added products and services, not offered in any tyre outlets in the country today. For example, Goodyear India has entered into an exclusive tie-up for car-care products with Methods, to the new outlets, including car perfumes, car wash, tyre shine, etc., making it very convenient for customers to purchase their car related requirements under one roof. As the Indian consumer has become more discerning these outlets help gain consumer preference for the brand,” he added.
The company has a very strong presence in the OEM sector, being the only tyre brand approved by all car manufacturers in the country. With the branded retail programme the company will leverage this strength in the replacement market.
As per company estimates, there are approximately 9,300 tyre retailers in India, across the product spectrum. Organised tyre retailing is still a novel concept as most tyre showrooms and most tyre retailer’s focus only on the sale and fitment of tyres. Of these, only 3-4 per cent showrooms follow the exclusive format. Stores with an exclusive format are a shrinking category, as consumers want to compare brands. With the launch of these new outlets, the company aims to offer an unmatched brand experience within the shop in shop format and increase customer involvement that will ultimately drive strong brand loyalty.