O'Reilly's expanding into Atmore

Published 11:28 pm Thursday, March 16, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
In just three weeks, crews have turned the vacant lot next to the WNSI radio station building on South Main Street from an eyesore into a prime example of commercial development.
Contractors have already cleared the property of the old garage building that occupied the prime real estate, poured the slab, run plumbing and are beginning to quickly get the new O'Reilly Auto Parts Store off the ground.
"We have chosen to place a store in Atmore based on extensive market research, the need for an auto parts store, and customer requests for an auto parts store that carries an extensive line of parts with competitive prices and quality brand names," O'Reilly's investor relations manager Gus Krafve said via e-mail.
The average O'Reilly Auto Parts store is 6,400 square feet and employs between 12 to 15 people. O'Reilly's prides itself on it's Dual-Market strategy by serving both the professional installer to the Do-It-Yourself customers.
"This strategy positions our company to capitalize on industry and economic trends," Krafve said. "Our mix of business has traditionally been approximately 50 percent professional installer and 50 percent Do-It-Yourselfers. Our professional parts people at the store level are trained extensively to bring them to the high technical levels offered to our Do-It-Yourself customers."
The first O'Reilly's store opened up in 1957 in Missouri and now the auto parts dealer has more than 1,431 locations in 25 states to serve anyone with an automotive need. More than 20,000 employees currently belong to the O'Reilly's team.
"Another element of our success hinges on our distribution strategy," Krafve said. "Any product or part stocked in the nearest O'Reilly distribution center is available to every store by the following business day. We make nightly deliveries to every store. We think that these are the reasons customers choose to shop O'Reilly' Automotive."
Total sales for O'Reilly Auto Parts in 2005 were near $2 billion. The company continues to plan for more growth and expansion. Executives have projected an additional 160 new locations to open in 2006. Atmore is just one of those.
"Because we are one of the largest suppliers of auto parts in the United States, we thought it was a natural fit for us to be in a market where the demand is high," Krafve said. "We believe that with everything we have to bring to your marketplace, we are giving consumers a new choice for doing business in the automotive aftermarket. It appears Atmore is a thriving community with the population and financial stability that fit our accepted demographics."
A projected grand opening has not been set.

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