“Even though it’s the early days of the recession, the answers to our survey indicate that tyre retailers are battening down the hatches and are expecting a tough time ahead,” association director Richard Edy commented.
Two-thirds (66%) of those questioned said that they have reduced their capital expenditure, while 62% have postponed the purchase of equipment. When it comes to the workforce, just over half of the businesses (55%) have reduced staffing levels and 50% have awarded pay rises below the level of inflation. Some 45% reported that they had reduced staff hours or cut overtime.
On the financial front, 21% said that they had been refused a bank loan, while 40% claimed to have suffered from increased bank or credit charges. Unsurprisingly in these difficult times, 72% of the businesses have introduced tighter credit control conditions. Another 67% reported a fall-off in levels of retail business and 64% have responded to the downturn by reducing their stock levels.
Perhaps more worryingly, 64% claimed to have noticed a deterioration in the condition of tyres removed, which bears out a recent survey by car insurance provider Swinton, in which 23% of motorists admitted they would not be replacing tyres until they were very close to the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6 millimetres (despite parts of the tyre industry recommending 3 millimetres for safety reasons). (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)