To bring this post up to date, Blackcircles have been bought by Michelin and only time will tell as to what Michelin do with the company.
Will “TESCO PIT STOP” be the end for “BLACKCIRCLES PREMIER GARAGES” TYRE Partners?
When I first heard about this, “on the grapevine”, I had a mixed reaction in my mind. I sort of thought that it was one of those things that would have happened after we had heard of the ties between TESCO PIT STOP and Blackcircles a couple of years ago now, when Blackcircles started to give out Tesco Clubcard points.
We here at Pellon tyres, have been a BC (Blackcircles) premier garage now for three or four years and I must admit we have enjoyed the extra business that it has brought to us. Apart from the fitting charges that we receive from BC, we maximised our efforts and have introduced our other services to the Blackcircles customers and their cars that we have fitted the
tyres to over the years.
In the first instance it was not something that I was too happy to do. The guy who came to see me from BC was very professional and after we weighed up the pros and cons, I decided to give it a go and we shortly became a premier fitting station and started to get BC customers through the door, via the computer system for the very first time.
One of the main reasons was that I thought that it would be better to join and then it would be easier for us to “keep an eye” on one of the opposition, so we knew rather than guessed how many tyres they were selling in our area. After a few weeks of BC fitting I began to notice that to my surprise the BC customers were not our customers and also they bought a different type of tyre to our walk in customers.
Halifax where our depot is located has always been a poor town. When I say poor I think that the town is just too far away from the motorway network and has been left behind in its development and growth, the main money has been spent in the growth of nearby Huddersfield, which has had rapid expansion and development over the past twenty years or so. This was done at the expense of nearby towns such as Halifax and Dewsbury. Anyway to get to my point the tyres that we sell are nearly all mid-range and budget brands, people looking for cheap car tyres.
The cars that we were fitting tyres to.
cars from Blackcircles were, and still are mainly driven by professional people and better off families. I also discovered that out of the first twenty customers from BC had never been to Pellon tyres at all in the past, and so this meant that we had lost NO tyre sales. I must admit that it was also a nice mix of business and we have sold many add-ons to these customers.
We pride ourselves as having a first class facility and have treated the BC customers with exactly the same service and courtesy as we do all our customers and over the last few years we have had a great business relationship with BC, in fact I don’t think that we have had one problem, with either the customers or BC’s paperwork system, and looking back I now believe that it has been one of the better things that we have done and are continuing to do so.
When I first heard about the TESCO PIT STOP and tie-up with Tesco Supermarkets, I immediately pictured a tyre fitting station on a Tesco supermarket site sitting next to a Tesco Bank selling Tesco Car Insurance. Whatever BC said the link between the two companies was to be, I believe that this would be the end goal. It was therefore no surprise to me to see that the first BC fitting station was to be located at the rear of the the Tesco Extra on Watling Street. You can find the TESCO PIT STOP fitting bays at the rear of petrol forecourt.
Although there are a further three TESCO PIT STOP fitting stations in the Milton Keynes area I can’t help thinking that I know where the majority of the work will be sent to. I am a little disappointed that BC did not fill the rest of us in with their proposals, but I think now that that’s the way that they will be heading. I have been doing this job for forty years now and there are not many types of businesses that “dog eat dog” such as the tyre business sector, and this in my opinion is just another one of those things that will happen, Tesco Tyres will take over BC’s and just become part of the big mix and will sit along side Halford Tyres and Kwik-Fit along with the thousands of independents.
But my big question is “is the beginning of the end for Blackcircles Premier Fitting Stations”, I think perhaps so. AS an end note we have resigned from the Blackcircles fitting scheme
Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.