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Company: Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts is a leading U.S. automotive parts retailer with stores in 40 states. Its stores carry a wide variety of parts and accessories, selling to "do-it-yourself" (DIY) and commercial customers (professional mechanics, dealers, etc.). About 35% of the company's business is from commercial accounts. The company employs over 51,000 people, and in 2012, generated $6.2 billion in revenues.

Advance Auto Parts added 132 new stores (net of closures) in 2012.

Advance Auto Parts' product lines average approximately 19,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) per store. The selection of items is customized for each store by market. The company also has

339 HUB stores and 22 PDQ (Parts Delivered Quickly) Facilities that carry another 115,000 SKUs to supplement store inventories. These facilities offer same day or next day delivery. This service caters primarily to the company's commercial customers, although DIY customers occasionally use the service.

Advance Auto Parts offers more than 483,000 SKUs customers can order directly from its vendors. Customers can choose to have items delivered to their homes, their local store or another location of their choosing.

The company's field operations teams include District Leaders, Store General Managers, and individual store Team Members. District Leaders typically manage an average of 12 stores. Stores are staffed by between 8 and 16 Team Members and one General Manager. At least two parts specialists, who have additional technical training, are part of most store teams.

Year Founded: 1929 Number of Locations: 3,794

Trade Names (# of locations)

Advance Auto Parts (3,576); Autopart International (218)

Early Years and Growth

In 1929, Emanuel (Manny) Rosenfeld, Maurice L. (Moe) Strauss, W. Graham (Jack) Jackson, and Moe Radavitz  created the Advance Stores Company as a general merchandise store. It did not specialize in auto parts. They were the original  "Pep Boys - Manny, Moe and Jack."

In 1932, Arthur Taubman bought Advance Stores from the Pep Boys founders.

In 1938, Advance Stores Company opened a store in North Carolina and began expanding to other states.

From 1941 until the end of World War II, the company did not grow substantially.

In 1956, Arthur Taubman's son, Nick, joined the company. This time with the company was short, as he left to join the Army in 1957. He eventually rejoined the company as CEO in 1969, serving as CEO until 2005.

In 1996, the company formally established its commercial delivery program. It has steadily increased this segment of its business ever since.

In 1998, Advance Auto Parts acquired Western Auto. This was the company's first major acquisition, but the prior year Western Auto had sold most of its operations to Sears, Roebuck and Co.

In 2001, Advance Auto Parts acquired Carport Auto Parts and Discount Auto Parts, Inc. These chains combined had 700 stores in six southern states. This acquisition took Advance's total number of stores to nearly 2,500 in 38 states. After the merger, the company's stock became publicly traded on New York Stock Exchange.

In 2002, Advance Auto Parts bought 57 Trak Auto Parts Stores from their parent company, which was in bankruptcy.

In 2010, Advance Auto Parts became a sponsor of Monster Jam, the popular monster truck show that tours the country throughout the year. The company also sponsors a truck called the Advance Auto Parts Grinder that tours with Monster Jam.

In 2012, Advance Auto Parts bought a parts distributor called B.W.P. Distributors, Inc. (BWP). BWP had 216 locations and primarily distributed parts to commercial customers in the Northeast.

Headquarters

Headquarter City: Roanoke, Virginia

Targeted Consumer

Advance Auto Parts target customers include do-it-yourself consumers, as well as professional mechanics and auto dealers.

Work Environment

Reviews on Glassdoor.com

Total Reviews: 154

Positive: 44.8%

Neutral: 26.6%

Negative: 28.6%

According to reviews, the company has several jobs that pay better than the industry average, including:

Store Manager ($58K)

Retail Service Specialist-Hourly ($10/Hour)

Parts Specialist-Hourly ($10/Hour)

One of the advantages of working for a company as large as Advance Auto Parts is that the company offers many benefits smaller companies don't. These include a 401(k) plan, an employee discounted stock purchase plan, and employee discounts on items purchased at company stores. 

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