Our History







Albert Pilavin founded the Apex Companies in 1924.

Pilavin originally founded Apex as an automotive tire and service company including tire re-treading, service, manufacturing and sales.  Albert Pilavin was in his early twenties when he first started Apex at its original location on Westminster Street in Providence, RI.

Al Pilavin named the companies “Apex” because his initials were A.P., he liked the meaning of the word “Apex” (which is synonymous with reaching the highest level, the “best” or the “summit”) and he felt that Apex was the most appropriate name for his companies.

After the hurricane of 1938, which caused damage to the Apex building on Westminster Street, Albert Pilavin moved the businesses to Central Avenue in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. At this point, Apex had expanded its original tire and service business and was involved in a number of different businesses creating the different Apex Group of Companies. Since then, the Apex Companies have expanded and been involved in a number of different businesses and industries including steel, iron, shoe laces, plastics, chemicals, residential and commercial property management, residential and commercial real estate development, a variety of other manufacturing, retail department stores, retail specialty stores, online retail stores, automotive tire and service centers, ad specialty, venture capital, credit card services, private equity investments, real estate investments, site hosting services, a variety of internet companies, delivery and shipping services, advertising and marketing services, repair and service centers, business, advertising, marketing and management consulting services, and a variety of other businesses.

The Retail Divisions

From its inception in 1924, Pilavin expanded the business to include 16 retail tire and service stores.  In 1938, as the retail division grew, Al Pilavin and his wife Selma Fain Pilavin had the idea of expanding the retail division of the Apex Companies by adding to the sale and service of tires and related automotive products by expanding into other related and unrelated categories of merchandise. Pilavin also saw the advantage of separating and expanding the retail businesses from the other businesses, and he created a small retail department store out of the space in the back of one of the manufacturing buildings to sell a wide variety of merchandise including tires and automotive products, appliances and a wide variety of other merchandise. Eventually the retail division became known as Apex Tire & Supply which was an extension of Apex Tire & Rubber Co., and shortly thereafter became Apex Tire & Appliance and then Apex, Inc. This business grew quickly and a number of other categories of merchandise were added. and the tire and service centers and the retail department stores grew into the retail divisions still headquartered today in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

As the retail division of the Apex Companies grew, numerous categories of merchandise were added, and Al Pilavin further expanded the retail division by building the original Apex department store on Central Avenue. The Apex Companies continued on with a period of rapid growth in the retail divisions - branching out into the sale of electronics, housewares, domestics, jewelry, sporting goods, clothing and other departments becoming a regional department store chain and a regional tire and service center chain in New England. Apex, Apexstores.com, the Apex Tire & Service Center  and Apex At Home make up the current retail divisions of the Apex Companies still based out of Rhode Island after over 80 years. The retail divisions of Apex still currently operate the original retail store in the Apex Mall located at 100 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI.

Manufacturing, Screen Printing & Embroidery

The Apex Companies have a long and proud manufacturing history. Apex began its manufacturing in 1924 and over its long history has been involved in the manufacturing of a wide variety of goods. The Apex Companies have been involved in the manufacturing of everything from tires and automotive products, rubber products, shoe laces, garden hose, iron, steel, chemicals, plasticizers, and a wide variety of other products. To highlight a few of our areas:

                 Automotive - The automotive industry has always been a focus of the Apex Companies. From tires to all sorts of automotive products, Apex has been selling quality products to its customers and has gained a reputation for excellent service and quality. 

                 Product Ideas, Design, Screen Printing & Embroidery - Our Apex ADvantage division has grown to become the premier provider of custom finishing, screen printing and embroidery of promotional products and items for corporations throughout the United States. Our clients include members of the Fortune 500, government entities, non-profit organizations, advertising and marketing agencies and media companies. We are a full service company providing everything from product design, product search and logo design to advertising and marketing consulting. Our success has come from our dedication to customer service and quality control.

                 Consumer Products - As part of our long tradition of retailing, the Apex products sold by us have included a wide variety of items over the past decades. Our customers expect good value and great quality and we have been providing them with just that under the Apex name. Our Apex apparel, equipment, accessories, gadgets, sporting goods and other products are all focused on providing our customers with great items at value prices.

Real Estate Development & Property Management

The Apex Companies have been involved in real estate development and management for many decades building, managing and leasing residential, commercial, industrial, parking and retail properties. In addition to developing a number of retail sites, Apex Development Company and the other real estate divisions are involved in residential development in the north east United States and commercial development including shopping malls, warehouses, light industrial, parking and office space. The real estate divisions also own and manage a variety of properties throughout New England for their own portfolios as well as doing joint ventures and property management for others.

Investments and Financial Services

The Apex Companies hold investments in a variety of privately held companies through angel investing, venture capital, specific lending vehicles and participating in various investment funds. They also provide the Apex Card with all of its advantages. Originally a membership card, entitling members to discounts, Apex customers have been carrying the Apex Card for decades. The Apex Card offers cardholders special savings, cardholder financing options, and a number of other privileges.


Apex provides a wide range of consulting services to its customers and clients. Our consulting services include real estate, advertising, marketing, search, security, design, management, strategy and investment services. 

Internet Divisions

In 1996, the Apex Companies were on the forefront of online retail and web site development. The retail divisions opened apexstores.com in 1996, making it one of the first online department stores. The online divisions of the Apex Companies have also grown over the years and now include a number of online companies providing online retail, search, online advertising and a variety of other types of sites and services.

The Apex Team

An important factor in Apex’s success over the years has been the strength of its Team. The Apex Companies’ management Team has worked hard over the years to develop a unique culture within the company that promotes teamwork, creativity, education and growth for the company and its Team Members. It is the outstanding service and dedication of the different members of the Apex Team that have made the companies successful. Albert Pilavin, the company’s founder, had many of the same ideas about running the Apex Companies, a tradition that has been carried on for generations at Apex.

Continuing a Tradition of Excellence

Today, the Apex Companies continue to thrive and pursue the same goals established by our founder, Albert Pilavin. The Apex Companies have built our reputation for excellence over the past 98 plus years by continuously striving to be the best and by meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of our customers in all of our different businesses. For all inquiries, the Apex Companies can be reached at 401-729-7200.



© 1996 - 2023  Apex Companies. All rights reserved.

Text Box: Corporate Headquarters ▲ 100 Main Street ▲ Pawtucket ▲ Rhode Island ▲ 02860 ▲  800.450.APEX   401.729.7200 ▲ TheApexCompanies.com

Albert Pilavin,

founder of the

 Apex Companies