VIP Tires & Service, based in Lewiston, Maine, announced today it is opening a new store in Presque Isle at the former Sears Auto Center at the Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque Isle. The new store will open on Sunday, February 1st — Super Bowl Sunday. 

Sears announced in October 2014 that it planned to pull out of the Aroostook Centre Mall located in Presque Isle by January 2015. The Sears Auto Center closed on Saturday, November 8, 2014, leaving the team of Auto Technicians, Managers and Customer Service Associates without jobs. VIP quickly announced it would hire five (5) of the Sears Auto Center full-time workers before the holiday season. They began working at VIP on Sunday, November 9, 2014.

John Quirk, President and CEO of VIP, said the vacant Sears Auto Center presented a tremendous opportunity to expand business and improve customer service in the area.  “As a Maine company, we recognized that we had the opportunity to play a role in building deeper economic stability in Aroostook County and to keep more people working,” he said. “While big box stores are pulling out, we’re investing in this market. The new location doubles our auto service capacity, gives former Sears customers a seamless continuity of service, and provides our VIP Team Members with a much larger facility and state-of-the-art new equipment with which to service our great customers in the Presque Isle market,” said Quirk.

VIP has signed a 15-year lease and plans to occupy more than 9,200 square feet of space, which features 10 service bays doubling VIP’s service capacity. Over the last month, VIP has been making improvements upgrading equipment in the service bays as well as improving technology and telephone service. With the new location, customers will enjoy increased tire selection and immediate availability because of a 200 percent increase in tire storage capacity.

“We’ve grown from 12 to 18 employees in just about two months and helped an extremely talented group of individuals continue their auto service careers,” said Tony Boucher, General Manager of the VIP Presque Isle location. “With an incredible team and now a larger space, we can service customers more efficiently and more effectively. We can’t wait to move in, open the doors, and get to work.” 

VIP’s last day of business at its current location at 755 Main Street will be on Saturday, January 31st. O’Reilly Auto Parts, which shared the space with VIP, plans to expand its store so that it can accommodate more parts inventory for consumers in the area.

 

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