15 Local Tires Plus Stores Sold, Rebranded

The stores ceased operations as Tires Plus on Thursday and reopened as National Tire and Battery locations the following day.

There are 15 new National Tire and Battery (NTB) store locations in the Twin Cities-and 15 fewer Tires Plus locations.

Patrice Kelty, spokeswoman for Juno Beach-based TBC Corporation-which owns the NTB brand-confirmed the purchase on Wednesday. TBC purchased the store assets from the owners of the Tires Plus franchises, and those owners in turn terminated their franchise agreements. The stores ceased operations as Tires Plus on Thursday and reopened as NTB locations the following day.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide these communities with quality products and services at affordable prices,” Kelty wrote in an e-mailed statement.

Tires Plus representatives were not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

The NTB Web site shows 15 Minnesota stores in the following cities: St. Paul, West St. Paul, Eagan, Oakdale, Champlin, Blaine, Savage, Shakopee, Chaska, Lakeville, Elk River, Northfield, Red Wing, St. Cloud, and Baxter. Tires Plus' Web site lists about 30 stores in the metro area.

Tires Plus was cofounded in 1976 in the Twin Cities by Tom Gegax and Don Gullett. It was sold to Bridgestone Corporation in 2000-at which point it was a $200 million, 150-store chain.

TBC now operates 21 NTB locations in the Midwest. In addition to the 15 Twin Cities locations, the company recently opened four stores in Wisconsin-two in Milwaukee and two in Madison. TBC also opened new NTB locations in Mason City, Iowa, and Dekalb, Illinois.

TBC Corporation operates approximately 800 tire and automotive centers under the brands NTB, Tire Kingdom, and Merchant's Tire and Auto Centers. The company also operates about 500 franchised Big O Tires locations.