Midas stores in Wichita, Hutch sold

The second-largest franchisee of auto service provider Midas has acquired all of the Midas locations in Wichita and Hutchinson.

An official of Auto Systems Experts, a Midas franchisee based in Davenport, Iowa, confirmed the sale Wednesday.

The sale, which included four Wichita and one Hutchinson Midas stores, closed July 1, said Craig Reed, ASE vice president for operations. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Reed said his company, a Midas franchisee for 52 years with 38 stores in six states, will begin this week updating the exteriors of the Wichita stores, which are at 2820 S. Seneca, 4635 E. Kellogg, 9133 W. Central and 3330 N. Rock Road.

"We're going to brighten up the stores and make them more fresh and clean," Reed said.

Reed said the company will also do more advertising to raise awareness of Midas' presence locally.

He said the biggest change will be ASE's efforts to increase repeat business at its stores here.

"It's total relationship building with our customer base," Reed said. "That's something that's going to take more time."

Don Walenta, who owns the Wichita Midas stores' buildings and land, said he's fortunate and excited to have ASE as his tenant.

"They are successful, experienced operators whom I have known for quite some time," said Walenta, who was Midas' Wichita franchisee from 1962 to 2003. "They know how to treat their customers."

Reed said with existing Midas stores in the Kansas City area as well as Tulsa, it made sense to acquire the Wichita-area stores.

"This kind of met our geographics," he said.

Adam Walters, who previously lived in Chanute and graduated from Pittsburg State University, will move to Wichita to oversee the local stores as regional supervisor, Reed said.

Reed said ASE was named by Midas as National Dealer of the Year in 2006. It was named a regional Dealer of the Year in 2008.

ASE became an employee stock ownership company in 2000.