High Rent Closes Illinois Service Shop After 75 Years
June 1, 2022—Lucenta Tire in Channahon, Illinois, recently shut down after over 75 of offering tire alignments, oil changes, brake work and front suspension service to the Joliet area.
According to Shaw Local News Network, the family owned business had been in operation since 1947 and their last remaining location got new landlords in October. The business had six locations at one point in time.
The landlords raised the rent, and while the family initially explored the option of moving or merging with another business, they ultimately chose to close up shop.
In addition to the increased rent, the high cost of running a business and supplying repairs in the current climate was a factor in the decision as well.
Office manager Christine Lucenta, whose grandfather originally started the business, shared that closing the shop will allow her father John Lucenta Jr. the opportunity to retire. Christine is disappointed to be closing the shop, and does not plan on retiring herself. She said she thinks about the perspective of her customers in all of this as well
“If we told them they needed brakes, they trusted that was correct and not that we were trying to rip them off – that if they were going down the road, they’d be safe,” Christine said in the article. “I feel bad for my customers. They keep asking me, ‘Where should I go?’ There’s good places out there. But finding something that does everything is kind of hard.”
Christine shared that there is some relief involved with shuttering the shop as well, mostly due to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has made business difficult to conduct across the board. Lucenta Tire did not have to lay anyone off amidst the pandemic, and while business did slow Christine said they were able to keep going.
Ultimately, the rent hike is what fueled the family's final decision to close after over 75 years, and Christine plans to look for a new job opportunity in the future.