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Are we seeing the “Home Depot” effect in the Auto Parts Industry?

Joe Marconi

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It's no secret that Home Depot changed the Hardware Store business. Are we seeing the same thing occur with the auto parts industry? Will Wall Street dictate the future of the parts business? Main Street, not Wall Street once dominated our business landscape.

 

Part stores were part of the community. Did they cater to the DIY? Of course they did. But the DIYer was someone who could actually work on his car, not the weekend warrior who has no business sticking his head under the hood. And why does he attempt to stick his head under the hood? Because companies like Advance and Auto Zone tells them they belong there. Don't know how to install your alternator, no problem, click on this video and we will show you Mr. DIY.

 

There is no stopping big business and what mass consolidation will do to our industry. But, guys like me don't have to like it. The truth is Home Depot may have shifted their industry, but it also made a select group of business owners only stronger. The same may happen in the parts business.

 

Big Parts Guys, if you truly want OUR business, then stop catering to the DIY market and insulting us by telling us the DIYer is not our customer. The motoring public hears your commercials, they see you ads, they get your discount flyers in the mail. So, stop the insults. I would have more respect if you just come clean.

 

My guess, nothing will happen. The big guys won't change when money gets in the way. When home town and Wall Street collide, Wall Street usually wins. Usually, but not always.

Source: Are we seeing the Home Depot effect in the Auto Parts Industry?


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I wouldn't mind them selling to diy'rs if they would allow us a little room for profit. I had a customer come in a while back and he paid less for the part then I would. How is that good for my business? Then when I mark it up I'm way out of the ballpark. Then they give you a retail price. If thats retail then why are they NOT selling it over the counter for that?

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I hear these stories all the time. And not just in our business. A plumber in my area doubled his labor because he gave up on trying to justify parts. So now he makes his profit margin, largely on labor.

 

Will the same happen for repair shops?

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