The future of Beaurepaires has been thrown into doubt with Australia’s oldest and largest tyre retailer set to close 100 stores and lay off 700 workers.
The massive change comes after plans to sell Beaurepaires to a rival fell through.
Beaurepaires was founded more than 100 years ago in 1922 in Melbourne by former Australian Olympic swimmer and later politician, Sir Frank Beaurepaire.
The company is now owned by Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Australia, a subsidiary of the US-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.
The company announced to the US Stock Market in September that its Australian and New Zealand stores would be overhauled by the end of 2024 to make them more profitable.
The future of Beaurepaires has been thrown into doubt with Australia’s oldest and largest tyre retailer set to close 100 stores and lay off 700 workers
The move is part of the Australian subsidiary transitioning towards a ‘third-party distribution and retail sales model instead of a company-owned approach’.
The company explained some 700 jobs were in the firing line while also planning to exit nine warehouse locations and selling or leaving about 100 retail and fleet stores.
It will cost Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company between AU$84-99million to complete the overhaul but is expected to increase yearly income in Australia and New Zealand by AU$76-84million.
An insider, who wished to remain anonymous, told News.com.au that Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was in talks to sell Beaurepaires to rival tyre retailer, Bob Jane Corporation.
Talks of buying the entire chain of retail stores fell through when the Bob Jane Corporation opted to only buy ‘the select few that actually make money’, according to the insider.
They also claimed that all of the remaining Beaurepaires stores will be closed by April.
However, this was disputed by the human resources transformation and communications lead for Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Australia, Lauren Voucatos.
An insider at the company said hundreds of jobs and stores will be cut in April after talks for the company to be bought out by rival Bob Jane Corporation fell through (pictured, Beaurepaires worker)
Ms Voucatos told the publication that while the company had ‘begun to evaluate different scenarios for different parts of our business’, it hadn’t come to any final decisions.
In its announcement to the US Stock Market, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company said ‘the proposed plan remains subject to consultation with employee representatives’.
Another consequence of the company’s transition to a third-party model is the selling of exclusive distribution rights of both Goodyear and Dunlop tyres to Australian wholesalers Tyremax and National Tyre and Wheel, respectively.
Tyremax announced they would start distribution by April, leaving the future of factories owned by Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Australia in limbo.
Ms Voucatos said the fate of those factories and those who work there ‘hasn’t been determined’ by the company yet.