Iconic Australian tyre retailer, Beaurepaires, is facing an uncertain future as talks to sell the business to rival company, Bob Jane Corporation, have fallen through. Founded in Melbourne over 100 years ago by Sir Frank Beaurepaire, Beaurepaires has grown to become one of the country’s oldest and largest tyre retailers, fitters, and repairers.
The retail chain is currently owned by Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Australia, a subsidiary of the US-listed Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Last September, Goodyear announced plans to improve profitability in its Australia and New Zealand operations by transitioning to a third-party distribution and retail sales model.
This strategic shift would involve reducing their workforce, closing nine warehouse locations, and selling or exiting approximately 100 retail and fleet store locations, which are understood to be Beaurepaires outlets. Negotiations to sell the Beaurepaires business to Bob Jane Corporation were unsuccessful, with reports suggesting that only profitable stores would be acquired.
While Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Australia denied claims that all remaining Beaurepaires stores would close by April, the company confirmed that different scenarios are being evaluated for various aspects of the business. Lauren Voucatos, a representative for the company, stated that no final decisions have been made at this time.
In addition to the potential closure of Beaurepaires stores, Goodyear’s transformation plan also includes exclusive distribution partnerships. Wholesaler TyreMax will become the exclusive distributor of Goodyear tyres in Australia and New Zealand, while National Tyre and Wheel will exclusively distribute Dunlop branded tyres. National Tyre and Wheel, an ASX-listed company, revealed plans to distribute Dunlop tyres from April of this year through its existing wholesale distribution business.
The expected completion date for these changes is the end of 2024, and Goodyear estimates an initial cost of $55-65 million. However, the company anticipates increased income in the Australia and New Zealand markets of $50-$55 million annually starting in 2025.
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