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Tire supply issues compounding Bend-area tire centers’ rise in yearly demand

'I think we could we could benefit from having a few more places open.'

(Update: Adding video, comment from tire stores)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As the weather gets colder, it’s once again time for many to think about changing their car's tires for winter.

But as many are finding, it’s getting harder to get an appointment at a tire center in bend.

Bend has grown a lot the past decade, and with it, a demand for tires and tire services, among other things. But the number of tire centers in Bend has not grown with the population.

Bend’s Goodyear Auto Care co-owner Steve Breedlove said this year, there’s more bookings than ever.

“Every year it picks up. This town is growing,” Breedlove told NewsChannel 21 on Monday. “The demand for tire stores has definitely increased.”

The City of Bend’s records show seven businesses in the city registered as tire dealers. There hasn’t been a new registration since 2016, but the list doesn’t include retailers like Costco or Goodyear, which is registered under other auto services.

From 2010 to 2020, census numbers show Bend’s population growing from 76,639 to 99,178.

“I think we could we could benefit from having a few more places open. I mean, I hate to say it,” Breedlove said.

Les Schwab Chief Marketing Officer Dale Thompson said they see the increase in demand in the city too, but there’s plenty of competition.

“Competition certainly makes us stronger, but I don’t think there’s anyone out there begging for more competitors,” Thompson said.

However, both agree on one thing: Stocking inventory is getting difficult.

"There is a challenge with supply chain, there's no question," Thompson said.

Breedlove added, "We're having to branch out and look at different models, different brands, mix things up a little bit to be able to get people safe and get through our weather that we have."

Thompson said their shipping teams are doing their best to keep stores supplied.

And Les Schwab is moving the Franklin Avenue store, one of three in Bend, to a larger space to serve more customers.

But now is the time to get your tires changed. (Well, soon - Oregon's official studded tire season is still a week out, on Nov. 1.)

"With the weather that's changing right now, it's a really good to prepare," Breedlove said.

He said he wasn’t thinking of a second store in Bend, due to the rising costs of finding a location in the city.

Thompson could not comment on any future plans for Les Schwab.

Article Topic Follows: Business

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.


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