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About Autozone Inc :
AutoZone (NYSE: AZO) is a retailer and distributor of automotive spare parts and accessories. based in Memphis, Tennessee. It was ranked the 4th worst place to work in America, according to a glassdoor.com survey in 2009.
Originally a division of Memphis-based wholesale grocer Malone & Hyde, the company went under the name Auto Shack. After the sale of the grocery operation to the Fleming Companies of Oklahoma City, the name of the company was changed to AutoZone to reflect the new focus. AutoZone holds the naming rights to the downtown Memphis baseball stadiumthat is the home of the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. The company also sponsors the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
In 1981, Express Parts or VDP is implemented to get the customers hard to find parts by special ordering them through wholesalers. Total stores was 73 in 7 states.
In 1984, the company became the first auto parts retailer to create a quality control program for its parts. Total stores was 194 in 13 states.
In 1985, Doc Crain coined the term WITTDTJR, which stands for “What it takes to do the job right.” Total store count is 263 in 14 states.
By 1986, expansion had made the company grow into a large store chain across the South and the Midwest. That year, Darren Reltherford, manager of Auto Shack’s Memphis branch, received the first Extra Miler award, which has since been given to AutoZoners who show their dedication to customer satisfaction by “going the extra mile” for customer service. The Duralast line of alternators and starters is released. The Loan-A-Tool program begins allowing customers the ability to borrow specific tools for jobs. The 4th Distribution Center in Greenville, SC opens. Total of stores is 339 in 15 states.
In 1988, Auto Shack officially changed its name to AutoZone. This would mark the beginning of an era of large expansion for the company, as it would soon open stores in other areas across the United States. That year also, the company introduced WITT-JR, an electronic catalog used to look up parts and keep warranty information. Total of stores is now 459 in 16 states.
In 1989, the company began using a computerized store management system (SMS). The Duralast battery line is released consisting of Sub-Zero, Desert and long life. Total of stores is 513 in 17 states.
In 1991, its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. It opened up at $27.50 a share. It was then valued at $1 billion. The 5th DC opens in Lafayette, LA. The company also became the first auto parts retailer to register customer warranties in a computer database.
In 1994, AutoZone began using satellites to facilitate communication between stores and the corporate office. Sales hit $1.5 billion.
In 1995, their 1,000th store was opened on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, the Duralast trademark made its debut with the Duralast and Duralast Gold batteries. Total of stores is now 1,143 in 26 states.
1996 was the year when the Internet era arrived at the company, when AutoZone opened its company Web site. The new commercial program was debuted in Germantown, Tennessee. ALLDATA, a software company that provides automotive diagnostic and repair information was acquired.
In 1998, AutoZone acquired 112 Auto Palace stores in six states in the northeastern United States, 43 TruckPro L.P. stores in 14 states, and 560 Chief Auto Parts Inc. stores in 5 states. At the commencement of fiscal 1999, AutoZone made another acquisition by purchasing 100 Express stores from The Pep Boys–Manny, Moe & Jack. The company began a process of internationalization with their first store abroad, which opened in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. AutoZone closed the 1990s by debuting at the Fortune 500 list in 1999.
Steve Odland became AutoZone’s third CEO in 2001. AutoZone’s Vision and Values are released. Vision: “Relentlessly creating the most exciting Zone for vehicle solutions!” AutoZone’s value statements: Integrity, Respect, Teamwork, Communication, Innovation, Initiative, Accountability, Thriftiness, Leadership, Excellence.
In 2002, AutoZoners developed a network of “hub, feeder, and satellite” stores to have more product in the market area, while reducing inventory investment. Sales hit $5.32 billion.
In 2003, the Duralast tool line was introduced. This was a year of important negotiations for AutoZone, as the company partnered with other important auto parts industry companies, such as CarMax and Midas. AutoZone de Mexico opens the first DC in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Total stores number 3,219 in 48 states and 49 in Mexico.
In 2004, AutoZone celebrated its 25th anniversary and announced a corporate sponsorship agreement with auto racing association NASCAR. In addition, founder Pitt Hyde was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Pitt Hyde set a precedent as the first aftermarket retailer in the Automotive Hall of Fame.
In 2007 Bill Rhodes, 42, was named Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AutoZone, Inc. on June 6.