This week, the company introduced Roll by Goodyear, a pilot retail concept for tire sales and installation that is almost unrecognizable as a tire store. With its small size, bright canary-and-blue color palette and conspicuous lack of tire-installation bays (the messy business of installation occurs off premise), Roll could be mistaken for a pop-up gallery, an e-commerce brand showroom or even a yogurt shop. Goodyear is rolling out four of these concept stores in Maryland (greater Washington, D.C. metro area) as the first phase of a pilot program. The company plans to open additional markets in late 2018 and early 2019.
An experienced retailer, Goodyear already operates about 600 tire and auto service center outlets under the Goodyear and Just Tires brand names. With Roll, Goodyear focused on designing convenience and delight into an unloved errand: the purchase and installation of new tires. The concept includes the ability to buy and install new tires without ever leaving home or office. Company executives say the new concept has been well received by women and Millennials, two demographics that represent growth markets for the business.
“In our (traditional tire) stores we skew slightly older and slightly male, and we are missing Millennials and women,” says Fred Thomas, vice president and general manager of retail for Goodyear. “We tested the Roll concept and it scored extremely high with all demographics, and in particular with Millennial women.”
So what’s different about Roll? In a word, everything. First, its retail locations: Roll stores are adjacent to lifestyle shopping centers and destinations instead of the more traditional, industrial corridors in which you might expect to find tire stores. The idea is that customers can drop off their cars and spend time shopping, working out or dining while their tires are installed.
Second, Roll offers multiple, we’ll-come-to-you delivery options: one is a valet service, in which customers can use online booking to have their vehicles picked up and dropped off at their preferred locations. Valet drivers can pick up a customer’s car at one location and return it to another. The other option is a mobile van service, in which customers can schedule a mobile installation van to come to their home or location of choice. For instance, the mobile van could drive to a customer’s office location and change the tires right in the parking lot. Each Roll store and valet/mobile van option also includes tire installation and balancing.
With its offerings of convenience, concierge service and a smart focus on meeting the ne of busy women and younger consumers, Roll is a great example of a legacy brand transforming the customer experience.