Discount Tire’s Pit Pass Concept Store puts customers in the driver’s seat – touchpoints for retail | CarTailz

When discount tires reveals his Atlanta Pit Pass Concept Store In early October 2022, it officially completed its transformation from a traditional tire retailer to a strong omnichannel leader in the automotive category. Discount Tire partnered with retail experience agency ChangeUp to design and implement this new store concept, which offers customers a racetrack pit crew style experience that puts them in the driver’s seat of the shopping experience.

“We really started to think outside the box with the digital rollout how to build a smaller footprint to meet changing customer needssaid Tom Williams, chief experience officer at Discount Tire, in an interview with Points of contact in retail. “We’ve started identifying new markets to grow and create more opportunities for more of our people.”

Putting technology at the heart of the experience

The primary mission of the Discount Tire Pit Pass experience is to enable consumers to shop more efficiently. For appointments, which usually last longer, customers stay in their vehicles 15 minutes or less. Technicians work in a manner similar to a NASCAR or Formula 1 pit stop, and the experience is complemented by a powerful mix of technologies including:

  • Digital displays directing customers to their assigned work bay and allow them to view the entire process and status in real-time;
  • Embedded tire scanners to assess tread depth and condition;
  • Discount Tire’s Exclusive Treadwell Tire Guide for a self-directed experience which is supplemented by personalized recommendations;
  • digital displays that provide service updates and product or service recommendations;
  • Zebra Technologies Mobile devices that technicians can use to communicate the completion of services; and
  • An after hour service which allows customers to check tire quality and safety through a drive-thru experience that offers a digital readout of tire health.

“We’ve worked really hard over the past few years to create what we’Your bay time is your wait time,’” Williams said. “One of the biggest weaknesses when buying a tire is Nobody wants to sit around for hours while waiting for their car to be serviced.”

While the new process is engaging and easy for customers, It was also designed with technician comfort and safety in mind. Working outdoors while exposed to the elements can be challenging for employees and technicians, which is why Discount Tire carefully considered these issues when developing the Pit Pass concept.

“First and foremost is the guest experience, but We always think of our employees when we work on the designso we added a larger canopy and made sure to have fans and heaters in place,” said Jamie Cornelius, executive creative director at ChangeUp in an interview with Points of contact in retail. “We discussed the width of the check-in canopy and where the sun hits so we could provide workers with enough shelter.”

A small but fine concept

To tie the Pit Pass concept to the larger, more familiar discount tire, ChangeUp incorporated the company’s signature color scheme red, black and grey. The designers also helped convey the message of efficiency through a covered check-in area, separate from the numbered banks where work is carried out on customers’ vehicles.

“The building definitely exudes confidence and conveys a sense of innovation and speed, which I think comes from the experience itself,” said Cornelius. “There’s a big push toward convenience and retail simplification right now, but You don’t want to make it forget and that was really the key to making it innovative.”

The new Discount Tire Pit Pass slot features 5,000 square meters ground floor area as well as a 2,600 square meters underground workspace that is much smaller than a traditional tire retail store and service center. Pit Pass eliminates the need for excess inventory not requested by a customer and consequently the concept only takes up space 10% of inventory at a standard discount tire retail location.

“Usually a business gets one truck per week But for this business, orders are picked, packed and shipped every night,” Williams said. “That was a game changer for us. Without our ability to do this, the concept would not work.”

Transforming the automotive retail experience

With Pit Pass, Discount Tire also aimed to bring more transparency to the broader automotive service experience. The combination of store elements and touchpoints allows customers to traverse a flexible journey that includes:

  • Browse tire and wheel options online for a BOPIS-style experience, or on-site if they choose;
  • Booking services via the brand mobile app or online at;
  • Arrive for a service appointment at the covered Pit Pass drive-thru lane;
  • Meeting with a member of staff who will greet you at the car and confirm the services;
  • pulling up One of three maintenance bays; and
  • Watch as technicians complete the service through a pit stop experience while you stay in the car.

“Unfortunately, in some ways, our industry doesn’t get along well when it comes to salespeople,” Williams said. “We are able to truly empower consumers digitally with real-world data and a trusted recommendation based on real-world results.”

Although Discount Tire has not developed a timeline to expand this concept from its only Atlanta location, the retailer has already identified additional markets for future expansion. In the meantime, Discount Tire is monitoring the space’s performance and learning how to continue cultivating its fresh, digital-first approach to empower its customers.

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