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Advanced Autoparts buys Carquest/BWP
Posted January 02, 2013 - 03:38 PM
We have been buying heavily from Carquest over the past year. They are now our number one vendor for same day service parts. Quality is good, price is competitive and service is good. I am concerned though about how this change will effect the company. We don't do business with API, their low quality low price business model is not something that compliments a high quality repair shop like ours. Who else buys a lot from Carquest and what do you think you might do if Carquest/Advanced becomes the Walmart equivalent on the auto industry.
Posted January 03, 2013 - 08:33 AM
Posted January 04, 2013 - 08:16 AM
What I can tell you is that CARQUEST in the northeast is run by good people that understand and value the relationship they have with the shop owners. Advance Auto Parts never understood how to obtain the wholesale/independent business. Their focus was on the retail, walk-in trade, which never sat well with independent shops owners. Advance wants to learn how CQ is so successful selling to independent shop owners. I can also tell you that this deal was made with the best intentions for not only CQ employees but for shop owners as well.
One thing to point out; Advance bought 124 stores in the northeast, which is run by a separate distributor, not all of CARQUEST. So, depending on where you are, nothing may change for you.
I served on the CARQUEST Advisory council from 1994 until it ended a few years ago. I was on the committee that created the TECH-NET program. I was also involved with starting many TECH-NET local councils throughout the north east. I can personally attest to the commitment and dedication CARQUEST as to the success of the independent.
I asked CQ to hold a special meeting in my area with shop owners to discuss this deal, which will be held later this month. My conversations with CQ senior level people have been very positive. When I first heard the news I was extremely concerned, but as I find out more details, I am more optimistic. I do believe that eventually Advance will learn from CARQUEST and the independents, and will end up better for all.
We dont know at this point how the next two years will unfold, and if the TECH NET program will remain in our area. I have thrown my hat into the ring and asked the people at CQ that I be a voice for the independent shops, which they agreed.
There are many rumors flying around, and my best advice at this point is to sit tight. More information will be known in the coming weeks and months. I will bring the news to all ASO members as it is made available to me.
Posted May 13, 2013 - 11:00 AM
The past few months have been an eye-opener for me. My prior perception of Advance Auto Parts is quite different from what my view is today. I see Advance as a company that truly wants to be a partner to the independent auto shops. Advance will be unveiling programs such as Motor Logic (repair information), a Business Management system and a service reminder program what will rival the best out there. In addition, they can help shops with their web sites and much more in the way of marketing and help shops grow.
I have been a loyal customer to CARQUEST for decades, but actually that loyalty was to BWP Distributors, the Stockel family that owned BWP and to all the fine people who worked at BWP, from the company reps right down to the store personnel. Advance purchased BWP and it appears that the culture that anchored shops like mine to BWP will be there into the future.
I attended a recent meeting where shops go a first hand view on the E-services programs, which will be available to shops very soon. And, I can tell you I was impressed by what I have seen.
I am watching the developments very closely and will keep everyone updated.
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