Dunlop Tyres has launched its new Dunlop Westville tyre centre, bringing tyre safety education, expert advice, technology-driven service, local employment and industry expertise to the market.
This new venture sees the iconic tyre brand combining its technical and training expertise with a digitally powered retail environment to deliver a high-end offering to the discerning local customer.
But it’s not all just rubber and shine – behind the storefront lies a state-of-the-art technical centre, with Dunlop-trained experts, through which Dunlop aims to inform, educate and set a new benchmark for customer experience in the tyre fitment field going forward.
Raising the bar
Matthew Trinder: Divisional Head: Retail at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, which manufactures the Dunlop brand, said in order to keep ahead in an evolving and competitive market, there was a need to adopt a unique approach.
“The Dunlop Westville store is a novel concept that not only establishes one of the first corporate retail offerings from any South African tyre manufacturer, but also combines this with a technical and training expertise hub to serve the wider industry. Our aim is to showcase what best-in-class looks and feels like when it comes to tyre fitment and retail, where the overall experience of today’s technologically savvy, convenience-seeking customer is paramount,” said Trinder.
The retail store is housed within a light steel frame structure that somewhat masks the true offering inside. Clients can enjoy a fully equipped coffee shop, with WiFi, charging stations, and booths to work or eat while they wait. There is also a KidsZone with kiddies’ library and dedicated KidsTV to keep little ones happy. The store provides an immersive digital experience, with in-store digital touchpoints including large electronic screens in the workshop area, charging stations to power up any personal devices, and tablets available to order refreshments from nearby restaurants. A Dunlop history wall ensures that when customers walk into the store, they get a real sense of the rich heritage of the Dunlop brand.
The centre is also rooted in the local community, with a kids’ play area, children’s on-screen entertainment, and an in-store barista station. Dunlop is also collaborating with other local businesses around the area, including restaurants, to service customers and the community better.
Technical expertise and training
A very big element of the Dunlop Westville offering is centred around training of the independent Dunlop dealer network, as well as internal Dunlop staff.
Lee Anderson, Manager: Retail Specialist at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, said, “Independent franchisees as well as our own staff will be able to visit the centre for a hands-on training experience that will assist in upholding high standards of customer service and other technical aspects critical to our field.”
Learnerships will also be conducted in an effort to give back to the community.
“We will be able to create a pipeline of trained and competent staff that will be able to find a place in the industry dealer channels. In this way, we will not only increase the standard within our channels, but in effect the industry as a whole,” he said.
The Dunlop Westville technical, training and retail centre is located at 123 Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville, Durban. Contact the centre on 031 355-0050 or Lee Anderson on 063 914-1256.