Clayton-based Pinnacle Contracting is managing this multi-million dollar expansion project for the company.
“We bought this place, which used to be a Leavitt’s furniture store warehouse, and moved in here four years ago. Our company originally started in downtown St. Louis, but we maxed out our facility there and found a larger piece of land in Hazelwood,” said Phil Berra, president, Community Wholesale Tire. “With about 10 acres of land and a nice size warehouse facility, we thought someday we would eventually need to expand. I just didn’t dream we’d have to do it in four years.”
Berra goes on to say that the company has outgrown its current facility because sales have increased. “We decided to bite the bullet and do the expansion now. Our initial plans were to just do 30,000 square feet. But after analyzing the situation, we determined it might cost us more money to add on again later. Even with the down economy, our business is up quite a bit. So we agreed to do 61,000 square feet, since the land was available, and get ourselves positioned for future growth when things really pop,” stated Berra.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Community Wholesale Tire, which distributes multiple brands of tires to more than 3,000 customers in the following states: Missouri; Illinois; Kansas; Iowa; and Indiana. The company has 159 employees at two warehouses, one in Hazelwood and the other in Kansas City. The facility in Hazelwood has an inventory of approximately 130,000 tires ranging from those used on lawn mowers to the huge ones needed for farm equipment.
“We basically buy and then sell tires to our clients. And, our company has a fleet of 30 trucks to handle distribution. We load the trucks at night and then bring in new product during the day,” noted Berra.
According to Berra, 95% of what they sell, they deliver every day to their customers. “Our dealers are linked in with our computer system so they can review our inventory and pricing information, and then place their orders electronically. We also have a telephone call center that is fully staffed to take orders. But 60% of our business is done online,” said Berra.
The creation of the Independent Tire Dealers (ITD) marketing group in 1995 is a major reason for the growth of Community Tire’s wholesale business. ITD was founded on the premise that a united group of independent tire dealers could better compete with the chain retailers. By marketing under the ITD name, a tire dealer is able to offer a large selection of products at competitive prices, while at the same time remain locally owned and operated.
Like Community Wholesale Tire, ITD has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings. What started as a small local ad group has become a proud brand representing over 350 independent tire dealers in a four-state region.
The 61,000 square foot addition to the company’s warehouse facility is expected to be finished by October 2010.