VIP Tires & Service is opening a significantly larger store across the street from its current location in Claremont, New Hampshire. Currently, VIP has 58 store locations: 19 in New Hampshire, 3 in Massachusetts, 1 in Vermont and 35 locations in Maine.
“More and more customers are visiting our Claremont VIP store location for automobile service and repair, and we needed more bays to better accommodate them,” said Tim Winkeler, president and chief operating officer, VIP Tires & Service. “Plus, the customer area of the new facility will set a new standard in customer comfort, from the wood floors to the new improved tire displays, as well as a larger coffee station and a laptop bar for people who like to work while they wait for their vehicles.”
The new 9,000-square-foot Claremont location is double the size of VIP’s former location and features nine service bays (vs. five bays at the old store). VIP has increased on-site tire storage at the new location by 20 percent from 1,500 to 1,800. The eight employees at the original location are moving to the new location, and VIP plans to hire one additional Master ASE Technician.
For the past six months, VIP has been extensively renovating the new store location in preparation for opening day. The total project cost including the purchase of the facility and the renovations exceeds $1 million.
“Our old store will be occupied 100 percent by O’Reilly Auto Parts. This deal is a win-win situation,” said John Quirk, chairman and CEO of VIP, “as both O’Reilly and VIP needed more space to meet growing customer demand. O’Reilly will continue to enhance its auto parts assortments with additional market coverage, and VIP will expand its service bay operations and expand our tire inventory. We purchased the old Claremont Ford Property at a foreclosure auction back in May. The 9,100-square-foot service center on 2.6 acres will help us to significantly grow our tire and service businesses. I’m very excited to further invest in the Claremont marketplace.”
All VIP Tires & Service locations offer a tire shop and full-service automotive repair, everything from brake repair, preventative maintenance, muffler and exhaust repair, multi-point vehicle inspections, wheel alignments, state inspections and oil changes. VIP also plans to use tablets at its new Claremont location, so its service advisers and technicians are more efficient and able to provide a better experience to customers.
Since August, VIP Tires & Service has opened two other new stores; one in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, and its first store in Vermont located in Williston. According to Winkeler, “The investment we’ve been making in our people over the last 5 years is paying off. Every day, more and more people trust our certified professionals to take care of their vehicles, so our sales and profitability have never been better, which allows us to find additional opportunities for new markets.”