Bridgestone’s retail network has gone from strength to strength since refreshing its offering, with the Company recently reaching 300 franchise and license stores in Australia.
The Company’s franchise business began with Bridgestone Tyre Centres in 1986 and expanded in 2006 with the launch of Bridgestone Select franchised stores and licensed Bridgestone Service Centres.
Managing Director Andrew Moffatt said the milestone highlights the strength of the brand and the Bridgestone franchise network.
“Being associated with the industry’s strongest brand is a good start but if that brand is leveraged through a truly great franchise system, it becomes an unbeatable combination,” Mr Moffatt said.
“It’s heartening to know that franchisees understand the power of the Bridgestone brand, continue to respect our unique business proposition and want to work with us to deliver an outstanding customer experience.”
Eight years ago Bridgestone committed to making stores more consumer friendly – particularly for female customers – and launched the Bridgestone Select model. In doing so, the Company became the first major tyre retailer to introduce a tyre-free showroom.
Since its inception the Bridgestone Select model has continued to evolve. A core component of its success is its ability to offer consumers a one-stop-shop for all their tyre and auto servicing needs.
“The Auto Service program allows franchisees to engage with their customers more regularly throughout the year, improving customer loyalty and retention and enhancing the profitability of our stores,” Mr Moffatt said.
“We are approaching 100 stores in our network that now offer Auto Service and this is continually growing.”
Scott Brereton, owner of the 300th store – Bridgestone Select Grafton – said the Bridgestone Select model offers a better experience for customers and more support for franchisees.
“From a customer point of view the Bridgestone Select concept is miles ahead. It looks friendlier, more professional – it’s an easier way to do business,” Scott said.
“From a franchisee point of view, the support offered is great. There are parameters in place to look out for you and mechanical, retail and management teams behind you supporting your store.”
Mr Moffatt said Bridgestone was extremely proud to have reached 300 franchise and license stores. “We truly believe our network is the best in the industry, with processes and systems honed over 30 years of retailing in Australia,” Mr Moffatt said.
“As it has evolved, our franchise network has continued to raise the bar for the Australian tyre industry and we’re confident 2015 will see another strong year of growth.”
The now 300-strong franchise and license network consists of 139 Bridgestone Select stores, 148 Bridgestone Service Centres and 13 Bridgestone Tyre Centres.