By Kristen Criswell, managing editor of ShopOwner, Brake & Front End, ImportCar and Underhood Service
Meineke Car Care Centers marked 45 years in business with a successful year in 2017.
“I think 2017 was a very good year… Hopefully we’ll have our 4th year positive sales growth,” shared Danny Rivera president of Meineke during a Dec. 19 conference call. “It was an interesting year a lot of weather patterns that affected the business, but I think overall Meineke showed the endurance we’ve seen in our 45-year history where we plowed through and made a lot of good strides. Franchisees are in good spirits and sales are good.”
Among successes in 2017 was the extended use of technology for inspections by Meineke locations, an increase in tire sales and a test rebranding. Looking ahead to 2018, Rivera expects another positive year for Meineke.
“From everything I’ve been reading for 2018 macroeconomic-wise, it’s going to be a favorable year for the country. I think Meineke is going to be no different,” he said. “We’re not going to see any real deviation from our strategy. Still focused on the same three things we were focused on in 2017: convenience, reliability and transparency.”
One major change slated for 2018 is a brand refresh. Meineke tested a new store design in 2017 in several markets, including Indianapolis and Las Vegas, and will be expanding the redesign to 200 locations across the U.S. during this year. The refresh includes a more modern feel, with new lighting and repainted interiors and exteriors, Rivera said.
Rivera also hinted at “exciting announcements” for the tire sector in 2018, but couldn’t reveal the plans on the conference call.
Meineke began selling tires five years ago and Rivera anticipates continued growth within this segment. The company aims for tires to make up 20 percent of its sales in the future.
“We continue to grow [the tire] segment. The growth, so to speak for us, is being in that space and offering tires to our consumers. We focus more so on the in center experience. We are a total car care solution – whatever need that brought them into Meineke. We will inspect their tires. We offer services both selling the tires and the installation and everything that goes around the wheel. It’s an exciting space for us it continues to grow year over year.”