Discount Tire unveils drive-thru store concept

Discount Tire is aiming to change the traditional tire service and buying experience for customers.

The company has launched a high-tech store concept that offers a mobile-focused, drive-thru experience.  Called Pit Pass and inspired by racetrack pit crews, the new format is designed to offer customers a fast and seamless drive-through experience where they can stay in their car from start to finish for all of their tire and wheel needs. The first location is in Flowery Branch, Ga.

Pit Pass integrates technologies — including embedded tire scanners, digital displays, online ordering and appointment-focused booking — with speedy tire and wheel services. The store has an approximate 5,000-sq.ft. ground floor footprint and 2,600 sq. ft. of subsurface workspace. Discount Tire partnered with experience agency ChangeUp to design the new concept, along with the Pit Pass brand and visual identity.

The new concept is markedly different from the traditional tire shop.  Here’s how it works.

As customers enter a drive-thru lane with a covered canopy, they are greeted by a Discount Tire employee to confirm the services scheduled and are then guided by the employee and digital displays to one of three bays. Similar to a racetrack pit crew and fully visible to the customer, Discount Tire's technicians use the latest technologies, such as embedded tire scanners that evaluate tread depth and tire condition and Zebra mobile devices to complete services.

 Digital displays give each customer's vehicle status in real-time and allow tire technicians to share updates and product or service recommendations. The entire experience will enable customers the option to remain in their vehicle.

Pit Pass customers are encouraged to shop for tires and wheels online and to book an appointment in advance using the Discount Tire mobile app or company website to save time. Customers who prefer to shop on-site can visit the store, drive over the embedded tire scanners and receive information about their tires' condition.

The store also offers a new experience for customers who need their tire pressure checked. With after-hours functionality, customers can receive a digital readout of their tire conditions from the displays in the drive-thru experience and make informed decisions about tire maintenance, replacement, or scheduling a service appointment, the company said.

“Our goal is to meet the busy lifestyle of today's modern customer and get them taken care of faster and with more personal convenience," said Tom Williams, chief experience officer, Discount Tire. "The new Pit Pass concept store is a great testament to innovation that follows putting the customer first, just as we have done for decades to offer an inviting, easy, and safe experience."

The digital displays in the drive-thru experience give customers access to Discount Tire's exclusive tire guide, which can provide customers with a self-guided experience and the same personalized recommendation they would receive from an associate.

“The expansion of the buy-online trend for tire and wheel purchases creates an opportunity to test new ways to meet the changing needs customers expect today. Pit Pass allows us to meet these needs and potentially change the traditional tire, wheel, and service experience moving forward," said Williams.

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Discount Tire operates more than 1,100 stores in 37 states.

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