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Goodyear Unveils Test Store

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is rethinking the customer experience of its Goodyear Auto Service stores with the opening of a new location at Summit Mall in Fairlawn, Ohio. The new store, located near the tiremaker’s headquarters, will be a fully operational store where Goodyear can test new ideas.

During a June 16 store preview, media got the chance to check out the store before its soft opening.

When developing the store, Goodyear tracked the consumer’s buy from start to finish and focused on making the experience better for the everyday customer, according to Fred Thomas, vice president and general manager of Goodyear Retail.

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“Our goal is to deliver a high quality, consistent experience while respecting the customers’ time and treating them fairly,” Thomas said.

The new location features an open floor plan, glass walls overlooking the service bays, two different customer-waiting areas, a kid’s area and several small customer kiosks. Additionally, Goodyear has moved away from its traditional blue walls with gold accents to a more muted color scheme featuring the tiremaker’s colors.

“We have integrated an open design with a wall of windows that look into the service area,” Thomas said. “The increased transparency allows customers to see our expert service team using the latest technologies and procedures when servicing their vehicles. This interaction will help customers make more informed choices.”

Fred Thomas, vice president and general manager of Goodyear Retail, stands in the newly renovated Goodyear Auto Service location at Summit Mall.

Fred Thomas, vice president and general manager of Goodyear Retail, stands in the newly renovated Goodyear Auto Service location at Summit Mall.

In addition to a new store design, the Summit Mall location will also provide several amenities to consumers. There will be a complimentary shuttle service, free Internet access, complimentary Keurig single serve coffee and iPads for customers to check out, Thomas shared.

Another aspect of the consumer experience being looked at in the store is the service experience.

This new location is the first Goodyear store to utilize Hunter Engineering Co.’s Quick Check system, which the tiremaker hopes will open the service conversation with consumers. Goodyear has also set a goal of corresponding with the consumer every 20 minutes to let them know the status of their vehicle service.

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While, Goodyear plans to use what it learns from this location to implement in other Goodyear Auto Service stores, some changes will be easier to implement than others, Thomas said. Eventually, Goodyear will share some of what it learns from this Summit Mall location with its Goodyear dealers as well.

The new store is 11,700 square feet and is the only Goodyear store connected directly to a mall, making the experience at this location slightly different than others, Thomas said.

The new location, an old Firestone Complete Car Care outlet location, took 6 months to convert into Goodyear’s new design. The tiremaker did not disclose how much the renovations cost.

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The store had a soft opening on June 17, with a grand opening scheduled for July 15.

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