Bridgestone South Africa

More Growth planned as Supa Quick turns 30

May 25, 2016

More Growth planned as Supa Quick turns 30 - SupaQ.jpg

Supa Quick's 30 birthday year sees the retail tyre chain having grown from a single pilot store in 1986 to the biggest tyre franchise chain in the country, with 257 outlets countrywide.

More growth is planned, with the chain aiming to reach in excess of 300 outlets by 2020. This is according to Supa Quick head, Christo Jansen van Rensburg, who says that the key to growth is to identify communities which are under-serviced in terms of quality fitment centers. "When we investigate a site for a new Supa Quick, we do in-depth research of the surrounding area to see what options consumers have," he commented. "There is a risk in trying to serve too many areas with a single outlet "“ you end up being too far from everyone, so we look for locations embedded within a community or a retail node which is convenient for consumers to visit."

Jansen van Rensburg said this enabled consumers to choose a fitment centre on quality and service, not just convenience. "Of course, we hope they'll choose us!" He explained that the fitment market evolved constantly, and that Supa Quick did not just rely on its original proposition of 'super quick service'.

"Back before Supa Quick started, it could take in excess of two hours for a fitment centre to fit and balance four tyres. We cut that to less than an hour, and this kind of service has become the benchmark for the industry, so it is less of a differentiator than it used to be," he commented.

A new Supa Quick outlet must be quickly accepted by the community it serves in order to get on a solid footing, and the chain has turned its attention to new ways of staying at the head of the market. One of the key benefits has been the support of Bridgestone SA's specialists who provide franchisees with support in a host of areas including training, marketing and financial management. "A franchisee' is focused on making sure the business runs effectively and customers are happy. Our support network frees them from a lot of business development work," commented Jansen van Rensburg. "With Bridgestone's global footprint as the world's largest tyre maker, franchisees can tap into new developments in equipment and fitment almost as they happen. This provides an essential line of support for the safety-critical work we do on customers' vehicles."

Another growth driver is the appeal of the outlet itself, and modern Supa Quick outlets would be unrecognizable to someone used to a typical tyre outlet from the 1970s or early 1980s. "We have worked very hard on ensuring the customer is received in a comfortable and appealing environment," said Jansen van Rensburg. "The experience must be of a high standard no matter which outlet a customer visits. After all, a customer loyal to a particular Supa Quick outlet could be put off the brand altogether if they visit another one which doesn't provide the service they are used to," he explained.

He also noted that part of development planning for new Supa Quick outlets is considering businesses in the area. Selected outlets in the Supa Quick group are nowadays able to provide commercial tyre services alongside their consumer offerings, and Jansen van Rensburg said this was a key focus for expansion. "Private individuals have come to demand high quality and good service in a convenient environment, and we are increasingly siting startup branches in locations likely to also draw commercial customers who want the same service," he added. "Expanding our network has required new thinking about the way fitment centers should service customers, and we're confident we've got the right recipe," he concluded.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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