Fast Lubes Total $9.8B in Sales

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The number of U.S. fast lubes reached 17,063, up 1,058 stores from a year ago, according to National Oil & Lube News 2013 Tops in the Industry Ranking.

NOLN published its annual lists of the largest fast lube chains and other oil change providers in its March 2013 issue, estimating industry sales in the U.S. will reach $9.8 billion this year, a $1.1 billion increase from 2012.

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The 54 largest fast lube chains on this years list together run 6,799 facilities, up eight stores from last years total.

As of Feb. 28, 2013, Jiffy Lube was still the leader with 1,962 stores, up 1 percent from 2012. The other largest-fast lube chains included Valvoline Instant Oil Change (896 stores, up 9 percent from 2012), Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change (750 stores), Kwik Kar (393, up by one store), and Valvoline Express Care (336 stores, down 1 percent). New York-based Grease Lightning, which has 47 stores, grew by 161 percent and is expected to open 23 more by the end of 2013.

The theme of this year’s Tops in the Industry Rankings was consistency and chemistry, and that’s exactly what was reflected throughout the rankings, NOLN Editor Tammy Neal told Lube Report. On the fast lube side we saw consistency. The top 20 chains were the same 20 that graced the top spots in last year’s rankings, except for one.

NOLN pointed out that of the 54 top chains, 12 showed growth over the past year, while 12 showed a decrease in number of stores. One new chain was added, and 29 of the chains store populations remained consistent. That means about 76 percent of the fast lube chains in the industry used their chemistry to keep on rolling, either resulting in growth or no change, Neal noted in her report on the survey.

Goodyear Tire & Service Network Outlets, considered an oil change-plus chain because activities other than oil changes generate most of its revenues, topped all oil change lists with 2,423 U.S. stores. The rest of the top five in the category included TCB Retail Group (2,400 stores, up 90 percent from 2012), Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express (2,400 stores, down 4 percent), Bridgestone Retail Operations (2,220 stores, up 2 percent) and Aamco Transmissions and Total Car Care (900 stores, up 5 percent). TBC does business as Tire Kingdom, NTB, Merchants, Big O Tires and Midas. Bridgestone does business as Firestone, Tires Plus, Expert Tire and Wheel Works.

The oil change-plus side of the Tops Rankings is overflowing with chemistry, causing a shuffle in the top 10 ranked oil change plus-chains, Neal said. It was surprising to see Goodyear Tire & Service Network dethrone Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Express, which had reigned at the top of the oil change plus list for several years. This year, Wal-Mart is tied for the No. 2 spot with TBC Retail Group, thanks to the TBC Retail Group’s recent acquisition of the Midas chain.

North Florida Lubes again led NOLNs associated lube chains list of independent operators owning six or more branded facilities, with 66 Havoline Xpress Lube locations. Following it were Pioneer Quick Lube (26 Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change locations), Fast Change Lube and Oil (23 Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change locations), Automasters of Asheboro (16 Valvoline Express Care locations), Express Automotive Group (11 Havoline Xpress Lube, four Texas Oil Express and one Kwik Kar locations) and Speed Lube 10-Minute Oil Change (16 Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change locations).

Due to Amsoil’s sponsorship, the 2013 Tops in the Industry Rankings will be available to everyone at www.noln.net, for the month of March. Starting in April, the complete study will be added to the NOLN web sites Surveys Available page and will be available for non-subscribers to purchase for $75. To order, email Misty Dolan at misty.dolan@noln.net. A monthly magazine for the fast lube industry, NOLN is based in Lubbock, Texas.

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