Advance Auto Parts has expanded into new territory. The Raleigh, North Carolina-based automotive aftermarket parts retailer has opened 22 new stores in the Los Angeles market as part of the company’s broader strategic expansion into the Western U.S.
In spring 2021, Advance revealed its plan to expand into California by leasing and converting 109 Pep Boys stores to Advance stores, more than half of which are in the Los Angeles area.
“We estimate that 70% of our customers in Los Angeles fit the profile of the classic do-it-yourselfer. Pairing that with the more than 7.6 million registered vehicles in Los Angeles’ unique car culture, this is a tremendous opportunity for Advance to bring care and speed to motorists through expert advice and best-in-class products and services,” said Tom Greco, president and chief executive officer of Advance, in a news release. “Our timing couldn’t be better as the average vehicle age increases while used car and gasoline prices are rising, resulting in greater demand for vehicle maintenance.”
Vehicle owners in LA and other parts of the West will be able to access everything Advance stores offer, such as free curbside and in-store pickup within 30 minutes of ordering online, as well as popular automotive brands, including DieHard, which Advance acquired back in 2019. The brand has since expanded its assortment to most recently include hand tools designed specifically for DIYers.
In May, Advance introduced the DieHard EV battery – a 12-volt battery designed specifically for hybrid and electric vehicles and sold exclusively at Advance – in response to the emerging popularity of hybrid and electric cars.
Advance will also employ approximately 1,850 team members in California when all 109 stores are converted, including staffing the company’s newly opened 45,000-square-foot “super hub” flagship location, centrally located in the Pico Union neighborhood near downtown LA.
Advance says the U.S. expansion addresses a growing need to service the roughly 14 million registered vehicles in California, including more sustainable vehicle options. The retailer also offers professional repair partners the ability to expand their technical knowledge with virtual and in-person training opportunities, available through Carquest Technical Institute and Worldpac Training Institute, which are developed and taught by factory trained instructors and available to automotive technicians nationwide, according to the release.
As of April 23, 2022, Advance operated 4,687 stores and 311 Worldpac branches primarily within the U.S., with additional locations in Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company also serves 1,318 independently owned Carquest branded stores across these locations in addition to Mexico and various Caribbean islands.