The retail experience is changing as online commerce rapidly takes the place of brick-and-mortar stores. Some automakers (like Polestar) are responding with completely different buying processes, and now one rubber company, at least, is out to revolutionize the way we buy tires as well.
Roll by Goodyear aims to eliminate the hassle of sitting in a waiting room next to some greasy garage to get your tires changed. In its place, it’s offering a number of alternatives, all of them designed to be more pleasant.
If customers so chooses, they would never need to step foot inside (or even drive their car to) an actual garage. They can pick out their tires online or in dedicated new shops, drop off their keys in person or have them picked up by a valet, or even have a “mobile installation van” come to their location and perform the tire-swap on the spot.
What’s more is that the Roll by Goodyear shops are being set up in places where customers might actually like to visit. So even if they go into the store, it won’t mean killing time in the industrial part of town or next to the highway.
“Roll by Goodyear makes buying tires easier,” said Fred Thomas, head of Goodyear Retail. “Guests can choose when, where and how to install their tires and they are in complete control of the process from start to finish. Goodyear is eliminating the waiting room and giving people time back in their day to do the things they really want to do.”
So far the pilot program is being rolled out in the Washington, DC area, where some of the wealthiest (and busiest) drivers in the nation are located. The first four showrooms will be located at the Shoppes of Bethesda, the Shoppes at Town Center in Germantown, the Pike center in Rockville, and the Downtown Crown in Gaithersburg – all in the DC suburbs of Maryland. If it proves a success, though, Goodyear will surely expand the program to other areas.