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Wheels up: Growth accelerates for retail tire franchisor

Tampa-based RNR Tire Express has rolled to surprisingly big gains during the pandemic.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. September 25, 2020
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File. RNR Tire Express founder and President Larry Sutton.
File. RNR Tire Express founder and President Larry Sutton.
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People might not be driving as much because of the coronavirus pandemic, but they sure are buying tires. 

Tampa-based RNR Tire Express reports explosive growth in the first and second quarters of 2020, despite stay-at-home orders and many companies transitioning to primarily remote workforces. The company, which has franchises across the country, opened seven new locations and signed franchise agreements that will result in an additional 47 stores opening in the near future, including 10 by the end of the year. 

According to a press release, RNR, which also provides wheel customization services, now has a presence in Greenville, N.C.; Hewitt, Texas; Columbus, Ind.; Orlando; Anderson, Ind.; Lafayette, La.; and Macon, Ga. The expansion brings the company’s footprint to 136 stores with 264 in the pipeline, the release states. 

RNT Tire Express founder and President Larry Sutton says the company’s innovative business model has helped it make inroads, no pun intended, against some stiff national competition.

“What differentiates us from Tire Plus and Tire Kingdom,” he tells Coffee Talk, “is that we're more of an inclusive dealer as opposed to an add-on dealer. So when a person comes in and does a transaction with us for tires, they're getting all their warranties, their alignment package, everything is included in our price, as opposed to us quoting the price and then adding on this and adding on that.”

And unlike some competitors, RNR Tire Express also offers payment plans, allowing customers to pay off their new tires in weekly or monthly installments. Sutton, in the release, says that flexibility has helped fuel the company’s expansion during the pandemic. 

RNR Tire Express generated $183.87 million in gross revenue in 2019, up from $163 million in 2018 — an increase of 12.5%. 


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