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Franchisee Reviews of Big O Tires

Franchisee’s share their experiences

Greg Kimberlin, Franchise Owner in LaGrange, Kentucky

greg-kimberlinGreg Kimberlin, who owns two stores in Kentucky, says Big O’s resources make a huge difference for franchisees:

“I could not find a better business than I have today. With the distribution, the product lines, the size of (Big O Tires parent companies) TBC Corp. and Sumitomo, there is nothing better. A few years ago when the U.S. put a big tariff on Chinese tires, it created huge inventory and supply chain problems for a lot of people, but we never felt it. TBC and Sumitomo were big enough and smart enough to adjust, so we weren’t disrupted and we didn’t see a spike in our costs. That’s just one example.”

rand-rogenesRand Rogenes has three stores in California. Over the years he has owned seven, but he has sold many of them to managers who started with his businesses as tire technicians. He praises Big O’s culture:

“One of my managers has been around 21 years, another younger guy 8, another one 20. I have very low turnover — practically zero turnover. That probably has to do with our basic philosophy is that our customer and our employees are No. 1.”

bill-walkerBill Walker, who owns two stores in Southern Indiana:

“Big O has been around since 1962. There’s a lot of history and great stories and great people who helped build this up. You take a lot of pride in being part of this corporation. Every year when we go (to the annual convention), it just makes you want to carry on the tradition. … I remember blowing up balloons for kids and tying them onto wrists. Now I’m blowing up balloons and putting them on their kids’ wrists. We’re not trying to get people to pay for things they don’t need and make their bills huge. We tell them what they need and then see how much they can afford, and take care of them. That’s the attitude we take and that’s why people shop with us and their kids shop with us and their kids’ kids shop with us.”

bruce-cherryBruce Cherry owns six Big O stores in Northern California:

“If you’re on your own, … you have to advertise on your own, do all your own pricing. We have pricing people who do pricing; they check the market. As an independent, you have to do it or pay someone to do it for you. The other things are marketing and the showroom. I don’t do that; Big O provides me with marketing material, and tire stands and displays. We also have a very good credit card program.”

Tony WilliamsTony Williams of Mesa, Arizona, owns seven Big O stores. He previously worked at Bridgestone/Firestone for 10 years:

“I have a friend who worked at Big O who informed me of their program and product line. Working for Firestone, customers came in sometimes with Big O tires. Trying to convert that customer from Big O to any other tire was virtually impossible. I couldn’t get them out of Big O for anything.”

Bill Walker, Franchisee in New Albany, Indiana

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