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Joe Marconi

CARQUEST Purchase by Advance Auto Parts Update

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I attended a TECH NET meeting last week, the speaker was Neil Stockel, Pres. of BWP Distributors (the CARQUEST Company we buy from in the northeast). Andy Stockel was also present. Neil Stockel spoke about the purchase of BWP Distributors by Advance Auto Parts and gave a very informative presentation on some of the reasons behind the sale and the future of the auto parts business in general.

 

There were more than 25 shops attending and all of us left that meeting feeling differently than before the meeting. Also, we left more open to seeing how this plays out. No one from Advance Auto Parts was present at this meeting, which I feel was the right decision.

 

There are still many questions, but at least we have a direction. It was great to see so many concerned shop owners, which tells a story within itself. These shop owners have been loyal to not just CARQUEST, but more importantly, to the Stockel family and all the fine people at BWP/CARQUEST. And I know I can speak for all when I say that we really appreciate Neil Stockel and Andy Stockel taking the time to speak to us.

 

An important note to mention; The BWP purchase by Advance is not the entire CARQUEST Company, only one entity. CARQUEST will still be in existence and will continue to service the automotive shops, national accounts, tire stores and consumers.

 

The next step will be to address some of the concerns independent shop have with some of the business practices Advance has promoted throughout the years, especially with their style of marketing to the retail DIY market. Loyalty to Advance from the independents will take a greater level of understanding on the part of both Advance Auto Parts and the shop owners.

 

One thing that Neil spoke about was the big changes to our industry in the coming years and the growth of large companies with respect to distribution. One very positive thing that was brought up is that as independents we still hold the largest share of the DIFM market and our independence is our strength. Our customers trust us to make decisions concerning their cars and our customers are loyal to us because of who we are, not necessarily because of what brand part we choose to install.

 

As more information unfolds I will give additional updates. I also look forward to sitting down with the people from Advance and breaking bread. Change is upon us and we need to remain

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