Online tyre retailer Blackcircles.com, which is backed by former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy and operates Tesco Tyres, is in talks to buy or partner with rival European firms as it looks to expand its relationshp with the grocer.
The etailer, in which Leahy bought a 25% in 2011, is in talks to partner with one of its European counterparts according to founder Michael Welch.
He said: “There are lots of people trying to replicate what we do in France, Germany and Spain who are three to five years behind us in terms of development. We’re looking to acquire or investing in a joint venture or partnership in Europe to grow. We’re in conversations at the moment in central Europe.”
Blackcircles.com reported a 30% jump in sales to £23.3m last year and EBITDA doubled to £600,000 helped by its tie-up with Tesco. Welch said that it is looking to “move on” its relationship with the grocer, which currently includes operating its fitting service and offering Clubcard points on purchases
He said: “We’d love to be in a position where we could have a physical presence in Tesco stores.”
Founder Michael Welch is targeting a turnover of £100m and a 10% share of the UK tyre market in the next five years.
The etailer sells tyres to customers who can then get them fitted at 1,700 independent garages and franchises across the UK.
Welch added: “Our success comes down to understanding what our customers want and delivering it, it’s as simple as that.
“30% of our customers each month are returning customers - that’s a legacy of what we have been building painstakingly for 10 years and the reason we are prospering in the worst three year period the tyre market has ever seen.”