VIP Tires Opens 2 New Stores
In a two-day span VIP Inc. celebrated the openings of two VIP Tires & Service locations — a new store in Vermont and a larger space in Windham, Maine.
The Rutland, Vt., store marks the second VIP location in the state, and the company's 60th in New England. The store at 133 Strongs Ave. opened Oct. 7.
“We recognized a valuable opportunity to expand our footprint and, after doing some research, felt that Rutland was the perfect community to grow in,” said Tim Winkeler, CEO and president of VIP Tires & Service. “Our entry into Vermont began with the opening of our Williston location in October 2018, and when this former Vianor Tire facility in Rutland became available, we knew it was the right time to bring our unique and customer-focused approach to tires & service to this market.”
The 7,800 square-foot store has been renovated and features five service bays and onsite tire storage space for 2,000 tires.
The open concept customer waiting area features a laptop bar with multiple seats and individual plug-ins, a beverage bar, and a TV sitting area, making it easy for individuals to stay connected to work and family while they wait for their vehicle. Additionally, the waiting area holds 40 tires on display so customers can see and touch different models before making their purchase decision.
Russell Gilman, who VIP says is "a well-respected auto service professional in the community" will lead the new VIP location in Rutland. He'll be part of a nine-person staff. VIP says it continues to search for local applicants to fill some of the open positions.
A larger space in Maine
The day after opening its second store in Vermont, the VIP team cut the ribbon on a larger store to serve the community of Windham, Maine. The store opened in its new space at 2 Amato Drive on Oct. 1.
“We’re always evaluating whether a space is working for us and, after years of growth, we finally outgrew the original Windham location,” said Winkeler. “This new building is bigger, has more customer capacity for service needs, and allows for tire storage inside the building that wasn’t possible at the old location. The Windham community knows us well, and we’re thrilled to be able to better serve them with an updated and upgraded space.”
VIP renovated the former Tim Horton's location and added 7,800 square-feet of space to the building.
New features include:
- 10 service bays – compared to the five bays at the old location on Roosevelt Trail;
- a large customer lounge with more than 2,000 square feet of space that includes several laptop bars so people can stay connected while waiting for their vehicle;
- onsite tire storage space for 2,200 tires;
- new vehicle lifts with 16,000 lbs. of capacity, compared to the previous maximum capacity of 12,000 lbs.; and
- technology from Hunter Engineering Co. that automatically checks the tire tread depth and wheel alignment as vehicles enter the shop.
VIP says the building upgrades were done with the goals of improving customer accessibility options with more appointment times and incorporating newer technology into VIP’s service offerings.
The nine employees from former Windham location have moved to the new facility, including Josh Martin, store manager. VIP plans to hire three more employees over the coming months to add capacity.
Both of the new stores will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.