March 1, 2018—Big changes are affecting the population mix of the two main, competing groups of auto parts stores, as noted by industry expert Jim Lang in his latest “Aftermarket iReport.”
While the total number of auto parts stores (jobbers and retail auto parts stores combined) saw modest growth over the past decade, a seismic shift has occurred in the population mix of jobbers and retail auto parts stores.
In Lang’s view, auto parts stores include a pair of major competing outlet groups: automotive jobbers and retail auto parts stores. The industry expert found that jobber locations declined at a 1.0 percent average annual rate between 2000-14, but Jobber store losses across the U.S. have slowed over the last few years.
The jobber population decreased by roughly 500 between 2007 and 2014, while over 2,500 retail auto parts stores were added in the U.S. The increasing number of retail auto parts stores is due, in part, to their expanding wholesale commercial business, Lang noted.
The growth of retail auto parts stores has caused the combined number of auto parts stores (jobbers and retail auto parts stores) to increase by more than 6 percent during the past 10 years.
Lang estimates that retail auto parts stores will comprise approximately 55 percent of all auto parts stores in the U.S. by mid-year 2019, up from 49 percent a decade earlier.