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Blackcircles.com adds to senior management

Online tyre retailer blackcircles.com has announced the addition of two new members to its executive team as it looks to increase its share of the UK tyre market through ongoing expansion.

Mike Welch, managing director of blackcircles.com, created the posts of commercial director and head of finance following strong sales in 2006.

David Jeanes, who has over 20 years retail experience and is an ex-Kwik-Fit director, joins as commercial director and Kenny Baillie becomes head of finance and business performance.

Welch says: “Jeanes will play a major role in improving the commercial aspects of the business and helping to maintain our sales growth which is continuing to exceed expectations.

“Kenny is highly ambitious and a perfect fit for a fast moving business.”

The pair will play a key role in growing Welch’s business. In 2005 blackcircle.com announced its intentions to turn 700 garages into branded franchise holders.

So far 112 franchises have been installed and Welch says the goal is to have a total of 300 by the end of March, with a view to having more than 900 franchised branches in place by the end of the year.

Financial figures for 2006 are not available yet but from 2004 to 2005 sales doubled and Welch says that this figure increased again by around 70% for 2006.

To help sustain this level of growth, Welch has begun using mobile vans which fit tyres at the time and place the customer requests.

“At the end of November last year we launched 30 franchise vans which go directly to the customer to install tyres for a surcharge of £10,” he says. “We see these as a city centre requirement and expect that they will make up more than 25% of our sales this year.

“Overall, including partners and franchise holders, we hope to have up to 1,200 outlets by the end of 2007.”

To help achieve this Welch has hired 19 regional representatives who ensure quality, recruit new stores and help roll things out quickly.

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