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Technology/Services

Two Partnerships That Aim to Pump Up Tire Inflation

Lil’ Drug Store, National Vending team up with Certus

EAGAN, Minn. -- Certus Manufacturing LLC has formed strategic partnerships with Lil’ Drug Store Products (LDSP) and National Vending intended to help it enhance its offering to the tire-inflation industry.

LDSP, a major health-and-beauty-care (HBC) provider to the convenience-store industry, has acquired a minority interest in Certus. Its clients include more than 125,000 c-stores nationwide. The LDSP sales team will leverage its brand and senior-level relationships to identify c-store operators who are looking to improve the tire-inflation customer experience.

“Lil’ Drug realized immediately that the Certus vision of completely changing how the tire-inflation industry operates aligned very well with our own goals of bringing additional value to our convenience-store clientele,” said Jeff Pitz, CFO of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based LDSP.

Pitz, who was instrumental in forming the strategic partnership, will now be a member of the Certus board.

Striving to improve on its 48-hour service response time, Certus has also created a partnership with National Vending, Des Moines, Iowa.

National Vending has a network of established technicians in every state. A certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), it manages coin-operated/cashless equipment programs for companies. National Vending is a member of The Wittern Group, a third-generation family business that has evolved from a vending equipment manufacturer to a diverse group of companies involved in every aspect of the automatic dispensing industry.

This partnership allows Certus to continue to implement its growth strategy by offering a single point of contact for Certus’ convenience-store clients. It “will provide Certus’ customers with an improved customer experience by providing timely service for their tire-inflation equipment,” said Lori Jones, general manager for National Vending.

Certus is based in Eagan, Minn. Clients include King Soopers, Delta, Alon Brands, Food City, United Express and others.

“We entered the market in 2015 with a simple goal of changing the way the industry views tire inflation. Adding industry leaders like Lil’ Drug Store and National Vending to this vision allows Certus to bring unparalleled transparency and service, areas in which the tire-inflation industry has been lacking,” said Chris Frost, president of Certus Manufacturing.

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