O’Reilly Auto Parts: Professional Parts People

Last Updated on August 30, 2021

August 21, 2021

O’Reilly Auto Parts is an American auto parts retailer that provides automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment, and accessories in the United States, to both professional service providers and do-it-yourself customers.


O’Reilly Auto Parts has 5,713 Retail Store Locations across the United States

It was 54 years ago, December 1957 to be exact, that O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. made its debut in the auto parts business. It all started with one store in Springfield, Missouri. Today, there are 5,713 O’Reilly Auto Parts stores across the United States.

The O’Reilly Family…

Back in 1849, with a desire to earn a law degree, Michael Byrne O’Reilly immigrated to America. He worked his way through law school and then pursued a career as a title examiner. His son, Charles Francis O’Reilly, enrolled in college in St. Louis, and in 1914 he went to work as a traveling salesman for Fred Campbell Auto Supply in St. Louis.

It was 54 years ago, December 1957 to be exact, that O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. made its debut in the auto parts business. It all started with one store in Springfield, Missouri. Today, there are 5,713 O’Reilly Auto Parts stores across the United States.

By 1924, Charles had become well acquainted with the Springfield area, having traveled it by train to sell auto parts throughout the territory. The year 1932, saw Charles as manager of Link Motor Supply in Springfield. It was in that year that one of his sons, Charles H. (Chub) O’Reilly, joined the company. They worked together to make Link the top auto parts store in the area.

In 1957, Link planned to reorganize the company and to retire Charles F. O’Reilly who, by this time was 72 years old. Link also decided to transfer Chub O’Reilly to Kansas City. Well, these plans just didn’t work for the O’Reillys, so they made the decision to form their own company.

The O’Reillys opened for business on December 2, 1957, with one store and 13 employees. In 1958, their first full business year, their sales totaled $700,000. The following year they formed O’Reilly Automotive and Ozark Automotive Distributors to serve independent automotive jobbers. By 1961, the combined volume of O’Reilly Automotive and Ozark Automotive Distributors was $1.3 million.

By 1975, the company had nine stores in southwest Missouri and an annual sales volume of $7 million. A 52,000 square-foot facility was built for the O’Reilly/Ozark warehouse operation.

Since1993, the company has traded on the NASDAQ market under the symbol ORLY. The company also has a stock purchase plan for employees.

In January 1998, O’Reilly merged with Hi/LO Auto Supply, adding 182 auto parts stores in Texas and Louisiana, and a distribution center in Houston. The acquisition moved O’Reilly into position as one of the top 10 auto parts chains in the country.

There was just no stopping O’Reilly’s expansion when in 2000, they announced the purchase of KarPro Auto Parts, in Little Rock, Arkansas, and 14 KarPro stores.

Another 82 auto stores was added to their company in October 2001, with the purchase of Mid-State Automotive Distributors, Inc. This acquisition made O’Reilly’s one of the top five auto parts chains in the country.

In 2005, O’Reilly purchased Midwest Automotive Distributors, Inc., adding 72 retail locations in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The company’s largest acquisition came in 2008, with the purchase of CSK Auto which added 1,273 stores in 12 states. This, combined with past acquisitions, made O’Reilly the third largest auto parts chain in the country.

Over the following years, O

In December 2012, O’Reilly’s purchased 56 VIP Parts, Tires and Service; 51 Bond Auto Parts; and, 33 Bennett Auto Supply stores.

The company’s first venture into international markets came in 2019 when it bought Mayasa’s 20 stores and five distribution centres in Mexico.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

Leave a Reply