CARS

Goodyear to sell tires direct to consumers, offer mobile installation

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The four tire stores in the Washington, D.C., area that Goodyear opened on Monday share little other than the smell of fresh rubber with typical greasy auto repair shops.

The new Roll by Goodyear stores aren’t just different looking, with their minimalist, Apple Store-like decor. Goodyear says they’re one cog in a series of new ways drivers can buy the company’s tires.

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Goodyear will eventually sell tires on a dedicated Roll by Goodyear website that can be installed either at the store, via a valet service that picks up and drops off customer cars, or through a mobile tire installation van that will come to the vehicle owner’s house of workplace. Goodyear said that its store will keep in touch with vehicle owners via text message while their tires are being installed.

The tire company said in a statement that one of its primary motivations for the new stores was to eliminate the traditional waiting area for car repairs found in auto repair shops, including its own corporate-owned outlets. Roll by Goodyear stores handle only the sale and installation of tires, not other car repairs such as oil changes or battery replacement.

The four trial stores are located in mixed-use retail and residential areas in Maryland outside of Washington, D.C.

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