July 23, 2022
Get in the zone –Autozone
AutoZone, Inc. is the largest American retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories in the United States. The automotive aftermarket is concerned with the manufacturing, remanufacturing, distribution, retailing and installation of all vehicle parts, chemicals, equipment, and accessories, after the sale of the automobile by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to the consumer.
First known as Auto Shack in the 1970s, Autozone was a division of Memphis-based wholesale grocer, Malone & Hyde. The grocery operation was sold to the Fleming Companies of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the name of the company was subsequently changed to AutoZone.
The first Auto Shack store opened on July 4, 1979, in Forrest City, Arkansas. Doc Crain, the store’s first manager, was pleased with the first day’s sales of $300.00.
The 1980s were big years for the Auto Shack Company. The total store count was 73 in seven states.
In 1984, with 194 stores in 13 states, the company became the first auto parts retailer to create a quality control program for its parts.
In 1985, the total store count was 263 in 14 states and Peter Formanek stepped in as president.
In 1986, the Loan-A-Tool program began, allowing customers to borrow tools for specific jobs. The fourth Distribution Center opened in Greenville, South Carolina and the number of stores at that time were 339 in 15 states.
In 1987, Auto Shack officially changed its name to AutoZone. The first AutoZone store was in Enid, Oklahoma and at that time there were 459 stores in 16 states.
In 1989, with 513 stores in 17 states, the company began using a computerized store management system (SMS).
In 1991, Autozone stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol AZO and an opening price of $27.50 per share. Also that year, Autozone became the first auto parts retailer to register customer warranties in a computer database.
In 1995, AutoZone opened its 1,000th store in Louisville, Kentucky. Total stores were 1,143 in 26 states.
In 1996 AutoZone launched its company Web site.
In 2002, sales hit $5.33 billion.
In 2003, the Duralast tool line was introduced and Autozone partnered with CarMax and Midas. Total stores numbered 3,219 in 48 states and 49 in Mexico.
In 2008, AutoZone opened its 4,000th store in Houston, Texas, and sales reached $6.2 billion.
On August 17, 2012, AutoZone opened its 5,000th store in Wasilla, Alaska.
Since October 1995, AutoZone has been headquartered in its J.R. Hyde, III Store Support Center (SSC), a 270,000-square-foot, eight-story building in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The building has the capability to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
In 2004, AutoZone celebrated its 25th anniversary and announced a corporate sponsorship agreement with auto racing association NASCAR.
AutoZone is an official sponsor of Bellator MMA, the world’s second-largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion.
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