Tire and Lube Express (TLE) is one of those acronyms that can probably stump a lot of people, yet when they give up and you tell them what it stands for, they’ll groan in disbelief. How could they have missed it? they’ll wonder, as they pass over the $5.00 bill you just won from them.
Kathy Deck of the Sam Walton College of Business said on a recent episode of Saturday Morning Meeting, “The distinction between services and retailers is dissolving.” She was talking about financial services at that moment, but the automotive services were one of the first examples.
For moms with a car full of kids, being able to drop the car off and go do the grocery shopping instead of trying to keep the kids quiet in a mechanic’s waiting room was a big deal. Being able to do that and also pick up a prescription, have photos developed, and get the kid’s hair cut made Walmart the favorite grocery store of plenty of busy customers.
Now, Walmart TLE centers care for millions of cars each year.