Streetsboro, OH…October 22, 2018… Defer Tire, a well-established independent tire and automotive service center in Streetsboro, OH owned and operated by Mark Defer was recently sold to Tire Source, a small, growing chain of independent Goodyear Tire & Automotive Service Centers in the Akron/Canton/Medina, OH area, owned by Tom White.
Leveraging over 35 years of experience as both an aftermarket business owner and technology executive to become an automotive aftermarket-specific business broker, Art Blumenthal LLC managed the marketing and ultimate sale of the business.
Originally founded in 1979 in a small three-bay facility with two employees, the business later moved into a stunning 10,000+ square foot home. Defer was contemplating retirement after almost forty years of ownership and made the needs of his long-time customers and employees top priorities in his exit planning strategy. He said, “As I pondered plans to retire, I pictured a future for the business which included a continuation of honest, reliable service to our many customers, as well as a place of employment which treated its employees well. Multiple generations of local families have been our customers and I didn’t want to let them down. Some of our valued employees have tenures of over 20 years with us and deserve having their service recognized and respected by new management. With all of that in mind, I wanted to be highly selective in finding a new owner. So I contacted Art and together we developed a scaled-down marketing plan for Defer Tires which did not include nationwide and internet listings, but rather his confidential inquiries with his contacts at various small and large chains with an Ohio presence. As a result, when Tom White and I were introduced we seemed to have almost instant business chemistry.”
Defer’s actions post-sale demonstrate the sincerity of his wishes. He noted, “As the transition progresses, so far I’ve been at the store on a daily basis and the plan worked out between Tom and myself is to continue doing that in the role of a consultant/ambassador for the foreseeable future…probably for at least a year. It’s ironic that before the sale I had the strong desire to stop working, but now that I am no longer the owner with the inherent myriad problems and sleepless nights, I feel reinvigorated and thoroughly enjoy working alongside the employees with the store’s customers in a way that I haven’t for a long time. The buck no longer stops here, so I can have a good time.”
When asked about the newest addition to the Tire Source brand, White said, “The acquisition of Defer Tire complements our expansion plans beautifully. Our motto regarding that topic is that we grow where it makes sense to grow. Art Blumenthal zeroed in on the possibilities and shared what I came to realize after meeting with Mark Defer and doing financial due diligence of the proposal…that this is a perfect fit for our family of stores demographically and geographically. With 12 bays, it’s a very large outlet with an eye-catching building design of which a business owner can be proud. In addition, we have learned that we want to make the transition of new locations as easily as possible and being matched up with Mark, who is a business owner with all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted, has expedited that process. We will be changing over to be a Goodyear G3X dealer selling Goodyear, Dunlop, and Kelly and also offering Continental, General, and Hercules, with the clear marketing message to our customers that we can get them any brand they want.”
Blumenthal said “Right now in 2018, economic condition forecasts and renewed business optimism are fueling growth activities among expansion minded organizations looking to leverage their economies of scale and team resources. I am now actively working with many more individual entrepreneurs and corporate buyers seeking new business opportunities and expansion and matching them with sellers looking for a retirement exit strategy.”