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The Super Stores

O’Reilly makes largest store count leap with purchase of CSK.

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Each year, Counterman magazine reviews the Top 20 store groups in the market to highlight notable acquisitions or changes over the past year. Last year saw the biggest changes in recent memory, with O’Reilly’s acquisition of CSK for $1 billion.

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Announced in 2007, the deal was sealed in 2008, but the process of fully integrating CSK into O’Reilly isn’t expected to be completed until 2011. The purchase means that O’Reilly gained about 45 percent more stores in 2008 (the company opened 150 new stores and acquired 1,342 stores from CSK.) With that, O’Reilly’s maintains its strong position in third place, behind AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts, respectively.

O’Reilly reportedly will add four distribution centers in the western United States, which will provide converted CSK stores same-day or overnight delivery access to more than 116,000 SKUs. With the opening of 150 stores by AutoZone and 100 stores by Advance Auto Parts, the Top 3 Super Store chains combined make up nearly 70 percent of the Top 20 store count.

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Uni-Select’s purchase of the mid-Atlantic division of Parts Depot raised its store count from 233 in 2007 to 321 in 2008.

While there was a lot of shifting around of stores due to acquisitions, overall Top 20 store count increased by 451 stores. In 2007, there were 14,965 stores, while in 2006, there were 14,340 Top 20 stores.

At press time, Autobacs Strauss, which operates retail stores in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Bethlehem, Pa., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Japanese retailer Autobacs Seven bought Strauss Discount Auto during its 2007 bankruptcy and renamed it Autobacs Strauss. Late last year, Autobacs Seven announced it would sever funding to Autobacs Strauss and called in its loans. Autobacs Strauss is expected to continue operating but will close underperforming stores, Reuters reported.

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The full list of the Top 20 Super Stores can be found here:

Total Store Locations Represented by the Top 20
•  2004: 12,339     +4.3%
•  2005: 12,964     +5%
•  2006: 13,496     +4.1%
•  2007: 14,371     +6.2%
•  2008: 14,965    +4.1%
•  2009: 15,416    +3%

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