Ratchet + Wrench: Inside the Newly Branded Front Lobby of Virginia Tire & Auto
SHOP: Virginia Tire & Auto LOCATION: Centreville, Va. OWNER: Myron Boncarosky SIZE: 12,000 square feet
STAFF: 60 MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 3,300 (a quick-lube segment accounts for half) ANNUAL REVENUE: $6.5 million
1. With 12 locations under its belt and expected continued growth, Virginia Tire & Auto decided to rebrand its shops, starting with the Centreville location in early 2013. The company wanted a clean, fresh look that represented their brand and moved away from their previous look, which was heavily tied to the tire manufacturers.
“We wanted to create our own brand identity,” says Julie Holmes, vice president of Virginia Tire & Auto.
That meant a green, white and black color scheme that mimicked the colors in the logo and was extended throughout every aspect of the shop.
2. The coffee station was renamed “the refueling station,” and features coffee, tea, and Granny Smith apples.
“It’s obviously a clever take on a word that relates to our industry, but we’re in a sophisticated market. Our customers expect a lot,” says Holmes.
The extra supplies—such as creamer, coffee and tea—are tucked behind pristine white cabinets that were chosen for their minimalist look.
3. The branding even extends to the water bottles and gumball machine, which features white and green gumballs. Customers receive $10 off their repair if they happen to get one of the few green gumballs.
4. The children’s play area features a customized “mini garage” that ties in with the repair shop theme. Inside the garage are branded coloring pages and temporary tattoos, while leather chairs are within reach for parents.
5. The spiral staircase leads up to the manager’s office, which features windows that look out onto the front lobby and shop floor. General manager John Miller says the office allows him to have private conversations, while also easily keeping an eye on every area of the shop.
6. Tucked to the side of the front lobby is a smaller waiting area, which features more leather seating, several stools and a counter for computer use, a TV and free WiFi. To maintain transparency, the shop installed a window looking into the newly remodeled shop floor and removed the door to make the room feel more inclusive.
7. On the wall, graphic wallpaper ties in the repair theme, while framed educational posters highlight the various services offered at the shop, such as alignments, tire repair and replacement, and exhaust system work.