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David Sorbaro, Stephen Sorbaro

BY CSA STAFF

Brothers David and Stephen Sorbaro, 44 and 46 respectively, haven’t once touched the brakes since their parents Marion and Victor Sorbaro handed them the keys to their now 44-year-old company in the late 1980s. In fact, the pair has increased the store count of the retail and wholesale tire operation from 11 to 58 and has strategically spread the chain’s regional reach. Modern Tire Dealer ranks Mavis Discount Tire as the 12th largest independent tire-store chain in the United States.

The Sorbaros’ efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Ernst & Young presented its Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 award for the metropolitan New York area to the Sorbaro brothers in the “Turnaround” category.

Success, says David Sorbaro, has come from a focus on the fundamentals. “I think the two keys to our success have been, first and foremost, keeping everything simple and scalable, so that stores could easily be added,” he said. “And, second, our success has come from creating as many efficiencies as possible—through electronic systems and logistics.”

But the younger Sorbaro is quick to say that the human factor played as much a part in the chain’s success as efficiency and scalability. “Knowing our business and knowing our customers has consistently been important,” he said. “And listening to good advice has served us well.” Some of the best advice came from the founder, their father Victor Sorbaro.

Co-owners Mavis Discount Tire Mount Kisco, N.Y.Annual sales: $100 million-plusType of business: Tire retailerNumber of stores: 58Areas of operation: Primarily southeast New York

“My father always said that buying real estate was the best thing anyone can do because you can walk on it and touch it, and it always goes up in value,” Sorbaro said. “Buying our locations as opposed to leasing them has proven to be a very beneficial strategy for us.”

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CompUSA may get a new look

BY CSA STAFF

ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.

According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.

The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.

Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.

While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.

“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.

CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.

The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.

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Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.

Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.

Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:

“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.

“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”

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