Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

storewanderer
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Re: Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

Post by storewanderer »

Pep Boys in Sparks, NV has liquidation sale type signs up now saying 40% off all in-store merchandise. These signs appear to have gone up in the past 2 days.

I went into the store. Walked in and saw the customer service counter and checkstand (which is an old grocery store type turntable) both de-commissioned (no registers or other equipment there) then some signs saying checkout in parts department (at the back of the store, which has no visibility at all to the front door). The front part of the store with accessories, bulbs, rugs, and such was a real mess. It didn't look like it had been restocked or straightened in months. In the back of the store next to parts there is an alcove type area with motor oil and filters and this area was quite well stocked and neat. Many items throughout the store were on clearance and then also extra 40 percent off if you could find what you could use (I didn't have luck with it).

The building was also in real disrepair with many soggy ceiling tiles and other obvious maintenance issues beyond what you would expect store employees to do. I looked up the building on the county assessor's website and see it is owned by Pep Boys.

There were also two aisles closest to the auto repair shop that were blocked off with caution tape with many unopened boxes of items and signs posted that said something to the effect of "do not open until go live date." Not sure what that would pertain to.

I asked and was told they are exiting the retail business at this location but would continue to have the tires and auto service area open. I asked what happens to the retail space and was told they are looking to bring in a different company to take the space over, but didn't have anyone yet, and so far the directive is just to sell off the merchandise.
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Re: Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: March 16th, 2021, 5:30 pm
bayford wrote: March 16th, 2021, 5:09 pm Advance Auto Parts has no standalone stores in California. The only other states they have no presence in are Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii. In the meantime, California is one of Pep Boys' best states as far as location count.

https://www.scrapehero.com/store/produc ... n-the-usa/
https://www.scrapehero.com/store/produc ... n-the-usa/
I know Advance owns Carquest which has some locations in CA. Maybe those are franchises? There is a Carquest in Reno, I see. I thought it converted to Advance but it appears it is still (or back to?) Carquest.
They have rebranded most of the Carquest stores to Advance in my area, but there are a handful that retain the Carquest name, one I know of is in St. Helens, Oregon. I am not sure if the stores remaining Carquest are franchises though. The rebranding has had mixed results, the one in Longview, WA (former Carquest) closed a while back and they seem to have a weak presence in my area. Carquest came across as a competitor to NAPA, but I think by converting to Advance they have been trying to compete more with the likes of Auto Zone, O'Reilly, and other chain stores. It seems like focusing on the DIY market isn't the smartest move as vehicles are becoming more complex and discouraging some basic maintenance tasks.
storewanderer
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Re: Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

Post by storewanderer »

Super S wrote: April 4th, 2021, 7:25 am
They have rebranded most of the Carquest stores to Advance in my area, but there are a handful that retain the Carquest name, one I know of is in St. Helens, Oregon. I am not sure if the stores remaining Carquest are franchises though. The rebranding has had mixed results, the one in Longview, WA (former Carquest) closed a while back and they seem to have a weak presence in my area. Carquest came across as a competitor to NAPA, but I think by converting to Advance they have been trying to compete more with the likes of Auto Zone, O'Reilly, and other chain stores. It seems like focusing on the DIY market isn't the smartest move as vehicles are becoming more complex and discouraging some basic maintenance tasks.
I wonder if Pep Boys is looking to get Carquest franchisees to take over these sales floor spaces. Maybe Advance Corporate took the CA ones to run as corporate Advance but for whatever reason has passed on these others...

If Carquest is still selling franchises?

The Pep Boys in Reno and Sparks and the ones around Sacramento are in a very dated state. They still have the same old interior and exterior signs they had 30 years ago and the interiors are untouched from 30 years ago. I know it is an auto parts store we are talking about, but some degree of modernization seems to be necessary or at least basic maintenance.
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Re: Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

Post by bryceleinan »

storewanderer wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 9:05 pm Pep Boys in Sparks, NV has liquidation sale type signs up now saying 40% off all in-store merchandise. These signs appear to have gone up in the past 2 days.

I went into the store. Walked in and saw the customer service counter and checkstand (which is an old grocery store type turntable) both de-commissioned (no registers or other equipment there) then some signs saying checkout in parts department (at the back of the store, which has no visibility at all to the front door). The front part of the store with accessories, bulbs, rugs, and such was a real mess. It didn't look like it had been restocked or straightened in months. In the back of the store next to parts there is an alcove type area with motor oil and filters and this area was quite well stocked and neat. Many items throughout the store were on clearance and then also extra 40 percent off if you could find what you could use (I didn't have luck with it).

The building was also in real disrepair with many soggy ceiling tiles and other obvious maintenance issues beyond what you would expect store employees to do. I looked up the building on the county assessor's website and see it is owned by Pep Boys.

There were also two aisles closest to the auto repair shop that were blocked off with caution tape with many unopened boxes of items and signs posted that said something to the effect of "do not open until go live date." Not sure what that would pertain to.

I asked and was told they are exiting the retail business at this location but would continue to have the tires and auto service area open. I asked what happens to the retail space and was told they are looking to bring in a different company to take the space over, but didn't have anyone yet, and so far the directive is just to sell off the merchandise.
I saw a business license app on Accela for Auto Plus Auto Parts, which is an affiliate of Pep Boys' parent company, so I guess that one isn't going to Advance. IIRC, Auto Plus is a franchise, but not a CarQuest, so maybe there was no appetite for CarQuest to expand beyond the one store off Rock Blvd. I haven't seen anything similar for the Smithridge Dr. store.
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Re: Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

Post by storewanderer »

bryceleinan wrote: April 6th, 2021, 8:36 pm
I saw a business license app on Accela for Auto Plus Auto Parts, which is an affiliate of Pep Boys' parent company, so I guess that one isn't going to Advance. IIRC, Auto Plus is a franchise, but not a CarQuest, so maybe there was no appetite for CarQuest to expand beyond the one store off Rock Blvd. I haven't seen anything similar for the Smithridge Dr. store.
Smithridge Pep Boys is doing the 40% off liquidation sale on all sales floor merchandise as well. I didn't go into that one, but the signs are posted.
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Re: Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

Post by buckguy »

Pep Boys is owned by private equity, so the business model is probably built around throwing off a lot of cash---subletting space would make sense in that case. The major problem they have would be who they could get as tenants. Their locations tend to be unflashy suburbs or marginal parts of big retail corridors which would limit their tenants, along with the limited number of potential synergies with a "garage". They also have shifted toward more fleet work, done on site (the fleet owner's site) which potentially shrinks even the service business. Rather than picking up other businesses (or what's leftover at bankruptcy) like Advance or adding new lines like AutoZone, PepBoys has closed quite a few stores which makes me think whatever they do is more about generating cash than really growing the business.
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Re: Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

Post by Knight »

New Pep Boys locations that have opened in recent years are automotive service centers. Its store locations for selling parts are few in number, and are not enough to compete with Advance Auto Parts, Auto Zone, O'Reilly Auto Parts, and NAPA.
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Re: Pep Boys - out of the parts biz?

Post by storewanderer »

Advance, Auto Zone, O'Reilly have opened so many new stores over the years and Pep Boys has been largely stagnant as far as opening up retail stores goes. This exit from the retail parts business in certain locations has probably been a long time coming. While Pep Boys previously had large obviously higher volume stores it looks like over the years the competitors with smaller stores closer to people's houses chipped away at the customer base so these large stores were no longer so high volume anymore.
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