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Kal Tire celebrates anniversary, opens new warehouse

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Kal Tire is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and Canada's largest independent tire de...

EDMONTON, Alta. — Kal Tire is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and Canada’s largest independent tire dealer is continuing to grow.

It has opened a new 14,000 square metre warehouse in Edmonton, alongside a 3,000 square metre retread facility.

"Our business is booming," said Ed Lauer, senior zone manager for the Alberta Region. "We needed this state of the art facility to ensure fast, reliable service to our current and future customers."

To put it in perspective, the new facility is the size of three CFL football fields. The new warehouse will service about 60 Kal Tire stores within a 500 kilometre radius.

"The bottom line is that for all our customers, we will always be ready with the product and services they need when they need them," added Lauer.

Kal Tire kicked off the grand opening of the new warehouse by inviting more than 600 commercial customers to a barbecue in support of the Alberta beef industry.

When Kal Tire was first founded 50 years ago, it was Tom Foord’s brainchild. He is still active within the company today. The first location was in Vernon, B.C. and that remains the company’s headquarters. Today, however, it has grown to include 160 stores, five distribution centers and 10 retread plants in Canada. In addition, the company operates a fleet of 350 service trucks to provide on-site service to truckers.

Commercial truck tires are a big part of the company’s business.

"We take our customers out of the tire management business so that they can concentrate on their core business. This is critical, since after fuel, tires are the most expensive operating cost for fleets," the company claims. "As well, Kal Tire sells a mix of new and retreaded tires to all our commercial customers because it lowers our customers’ cost per mile, even though we could actually make more money if we just sold new tires. Our customers’ best interest drives this product segmentation strategy."

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