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AutoZone edges Advance Auto Parts as largest aftermarket retailer

Friday, May 1, 2015 - 07:00
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AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts can both make a claim for the number one spot in the 2015 Aftermarket Business World Top 25 Auto Chain Report, which ranks companies by their number of company-owned stores.

That’s because Advance Auto Parts has the most company owned stores in the U.S. and Canada (5,261) compared to AutoZone (4,982). But when all North American company-owned stores are counted, AutoZone is on top with 5,384 stores, due to their 402 company-owned stores in Mexico. Since Advance Auto Parts does not have any company owned stores in Mexico, AutoZone takes the No. 1 spot in North America this year.

O’Reilly Automotive came in third place this year with 4,366 company-owned stores and Genuine Parts Company was fourth with 1,326 North American company-owned stores.

Advance Auto Parts leapfrogged past AutoZone in the 2014 Top 25 Auto Chain Report after the company’s acquisition Jan. 2, 2014 of General Parts International (GPI). The deal pushed Advance into the No. 1 spot, which was held in 2013 by AutoZone.

Interestingly, the number of company-owned stores owned by Advance Auto Parts actually decreased from 5,297 in 2014 to 5,261 in 2015, according to information provided by the company. The slight decrease of 36 stores might have been due to rationalization, as Advance Auto Parts digested the approximately 1,400 independently owned CARQUEST branded stores it acquired from GPI into their existing network of locations.

Despite AutoZone’s slight store count advantage in North America, Advance Auto Parts had slightly higher sales of $9.84 billion in 2014, compared to AutoZone’s 2014 sales of $9.475 billion, according to information provided by both companies. Click here to see the report.

Other activity in the Top 10 this year saw Fisher Auto Parts move from No. 7 last year with 400 company owned stores to No. 6 this year with “almost 500” company owned stores. That was largely due to Fisher’s April 1, 2014 acquisition of KOI Auto Parts, which ranked No. 11 in 2014 with 72 company-owned stores. Fisher reported that they added 91 company owned stores from 2014 to 2015.

Automotive Parts Headquarters moved from No. 10 to No. 9 this year, reporting a company owned store increase from 85 in 2014 to 99 in 2015. The increase was mostly due to its September 2014 acquisition of United Auto Supply and its 13 stores in and around La Crosse Wis.  Hahn Automotive Warehouse slipped form No. 9 last year with 92 company owned stores to No. 10 this year as the company reported owning 90 stores.

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