There has undoubtedly been a dramatic shift in the retail industry over the past several years. Consumers can purchase almost anything from the comfort of their own homes and have it on their doorsteps within hours. eCommerce has become the new norm, and the trend is forcing some retailers to downsize, consider lay-offs, and close down brick-and-mortar stores. Yet, the automotive aftermarket industry seems to be experiencing an entirely different reality.
In 2018, companies like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O’Reilly Auto Parts have announced plans to expand their retail footprints – not contract them. They’re also strategically embracing eCommerce despite the attempts of online retail competitors to encroach on this $130 billion market.
Their secret? Advanced supply chains that support industrial hubs with over 50,000 different items; a competitive advantage in nationwide physical storefronts; and an eCommerce strategy that embraces DIY and B2B consumers.
Together, we analyzed the industry’s top competitors in a recent contribution to Area Development. So far, the results speak for themselves. We agree that, while the future is unpredictable, the auto parts sector has managed to withstand the test of time in ways many other industries haven’t.
Jeff Green is a Managing Director for the Global Occupier Services and Leader of the Automotive Advisory Group. He is a Global Real Estate professional with 28 years of experience specializing in representing multi national corporations in all areas of real estate across all geographies.
Ben Conwell is a Managing Director and Leader of Cushman & Wakefield’s eCommerce Advisory Group. He is an expert in newCommerce, a Cushman & Wakefield initiative that provides seamless, full-service solutions for today’s ever-evolving retail landscape.