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The Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY), branded as Pep Boys Auto and commonly abbreviated as Pep Boys, is a full-service automotive after market chain. In 1921, Emanuel (Manny) Rosenfeld, Maurice L. (Moe) Strauss, and W. Graham (Jack) Jackson opened the first “Pep Auto Supplies” store in Philadelphia ,Pennsylvania.
Currently, Pep Boys, headquartered in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, has 570 stores and approximately 6,000 service bays in 35 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its full-service vehicle maintenance and repair capabilities, the company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market and is one of the leading sellers of replacement tires in the United States as well as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies.
The original “Pep Boys” were Emanuel “Manny” Rosenfeld, Maurice “Moe” Strauss, Graham “Jack” Jackson and Moe Radavitz, four friends who pooled $800 in 1921 to open a single auto parts store. They dubbed it “Pep Auto Supplies” after noticing a shipment of Pep Valve grinding compound on the shelves.
That name was first changed because of a policeman who worked near the store. Apparently, every time the officer stopped a car at night for not having an oil wick burning, he would tell the driver to go see the “boys at Pep” for a replacement. That advice turned into the name “Pep Boys”, which stuck until Moe Strauss took a trip to California around 1923. While there, he noticed that many successful West Coast businesses used their owners’ first names. One he liked in particular was a dress shop called Minnie, Maude and Mabel’s. As soon as he returned to Philadelphia, the business partners officially changed the store’s name to “The Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack” and commissioned the Manny, Moe and Jack caricatures that still serve as the company’s logo. The logo was slightly changed in 1990 to remove Manny’s cigar.
By the early 1930s, Moe Radavitz had left the business, Pep Boys had 40 stores in Philadelphia, and Manny’s brother, Murray Rosenfeld, had opened the first West Coast Pep Boys store.