London Speedy shops carry on
By HANK DANISZEWSKI, SUN MEDIA
It's business as usual at two Speedy muffler shops in London even though its parent corporation is under bankruptcy protection.
SMK Speedy International Inc. was given protection from creditors this week to allow it to franchise or sell 26 corporate-owned shops after defaulting on loans.
But 62 franchise locations are not affected, including two Speedy shops on Highbury Avenue and Wellington Road South owned by Bruce MacKenzie.
"We're all independent. We own our equipment and warranties and we are still alive and strong," MacKenzie said.
Earlier this year, Speedy sold three shops on York Street, Oxford Street West and Dundas Street East to Toronto-based Active Green & Ross.
Speedy grew from a single shop in 1956 to more than 1,000 shops across Canada and the United States.
In the 1990s, the company sold off all but 129 Canadian locations. In 2004, Speedy was acquired by an Alberta company that also owns Minute Muffler.
MacKenzie said the Speedy franchisees will retain the brand name but will get corporate support from the Minute Muffler head office in Alberta.
MacKenzie said he plans to open a new Speedy franchise in the Hyde Park area.