|Traded as||NYSE: AZO
S&P 500 Component
|Industry||Hoover's. Retrieved on December 4, 2011.|
|Founded||Forrest City, Arkansas (1979)|
|Headquarters||Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Number of locations||5,006|
|Key people||J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III, Founder
William C. Rhodes III, Chairman, President, and CEO
William T. Giles, CFO
|Products||Automotive parts and accessories|
$ 8.603 billion (FY 2012)
|Operating income||$ 1.62 billion (FY 2012)|
|Net income||$ 930.3 million (FY 2012)|
|Total assets||$ 6.26 billion (FY 2012)|
|Total equity||$ -1.54 billion (FY 2012)|
|Employees||70,000 (August, 2012)|
AutoZone is the 2nd largest retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories in the United States  behind Advance Auto Parts after their recent acquisition of CARQUEST. Founded in 1979, AutoZone has over 5,000 stores across the United States and Mexico. They are based in Memphis, Tennessee.
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 and to settle a lawsuit brought by Tandy Corporation for infringing on Tandy's "Radio Shack" trademark. AutoZone holds the naming rights to the downtown Memphis baseball stadium that 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. The first AutoZone was in Enid, OK store #505. 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.
Pitt Hyde retired as chairman and CEO in 1997.
In 1998, AutoZone acquired 112 Auto Palace stores in six states in the northeastern United States, 43 TruckPro L.P. stores in 14 states,TruckPro has since been sold 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 $5.33 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 J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III 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.
On December 6, 2011 Autozone reported that online sales grew to $40.2 million for the first fiscal quarter of 2012; up 9.5% year over year. Total sales were reported at $1.92 billion; up 7.3% year over year.
In 2012, AutoZone expanded into its 49th state, Alaska, with two of five planned stores.
On August 17, 2012, AutoZone opened their 5,000th store in Wasilla, Alaska.
In 2012 AutoZone opened their first store in Brazil.
As of 1993 there was a new headquarters for AutoZone to be placed at the intersection at Gayoso and Wagner. The $18 million building was to have seven stories.
In 1993, according to AutoZone's corporate facilities manager, John Williams, 648 people worked at the headquarters. The company projected that it would become, by 1995, 789, and by 1997, 868.
Valucraft, Duralast, Duralast Gold and Duralast Platinum are AutoZone's private label brands for automotive batteries (manufactured by Johnson Controls, and other manufactures), as well as other parts and accessories such as brakes, ignition, tools, etc.
Not franchises, AutoZone's 5,000+ retail outlets throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil stock a variety of aftermarket parts. AutoZone's 5000th store in Wasilla, Alaska, opened on August 17, 2012.
Controversies and criticism
Controversies have included patent-infringement lawsuits. The company has been criticized by its employees.
Founder J. R. "Pitt" Hyde, Jr. bought the building involved in Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr's assassination: "AutoZone founder and civil rights benefactor J. R. Pitt 'Hyde' [sic] Jr. intends to buy Chappell's building and donate it to the Lorraine Foundation, which operates the museum, said Beverly Robertson, museum executive director."
In March, 2006, the company was accused of infringing two patents owned by Orion IP, LLC, in a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Texas. In May 2007, the company settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount and the case was dismissed.
In September, 2010, the company was sued by the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission for firing an employee. Autozone has been ordered to pay $75,000 plus attorneys’ fees and provide other nationwide relief to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC’s lawsuit, filed in September 2010, charged that AutoZone violated federal law when it subjected Frank Mahoney Burroughs, an employee who had converted to the Sikh religion, to harassment and refused to accommodate his religious need to wear a turban.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Massachusetts in Boston (Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-11648), AutoZone managers at its Everett, Mass., location harassed Mahoney Burroughs by disparaging his religion, asking if he had joined Al-Qaeda and whether he was a terrorist. AutoZone also failed to intervene when customers referred to him as “Bin Laden” and made terrorist jokes. The EEOC also charged that AutoZone refused to let Mahoney Burroughs wear a religiously mandated turban and kara (a religious bracelet). Finally, the EEOC alleged that AutoZone terminated him because of his religion and in retaliation for asking for an accommodation and complaining about discrimination.
Worst Workplace In America
A 2009 survey of employee satisfaction conducted by leading employee feedback website Glassdoor.com resulted in AutoZone being ranked the 4th worst workplace in America. Survey participants totaling 17% of all employees had direct negative feedback about past and present CEO Bill Rhodes's leadership of the company.
- "2012 Annual Report". 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "AutoZone, Inc 2012 Annual Report, Form 10-K, Filing Date October 22, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Dec 26, 2012.
- United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- AutoZone, Inc. AutoZone Official Site
- Eng, Dinah (August 12, 2013). "Putting AutoZone into Drive". Fortune 168 (3): 17–18.
- "Autozone, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Nov 27, 1996". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date May 20, 1996". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Jun 23, 1998". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 2, 1998". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Nov 25, 1998". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form ARS, Filing Date Nov 2, 1998". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 12, 2001". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form ARS, Filing Date Nov 16, 2001". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Oct 31, 2002". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 31, 2003". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Mar 14, 2005". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jun 7, 2007". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Oct 22, 2007". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- AutoZone history
- "Autozone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 24, 2011". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "AutoZone shares soar on 3Q earnings report". Memphis Business Journal. May 24, 2011.
- "Autozone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 6, 2011". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 4, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Autozone, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Dec 13, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
- "Store Support Center." AutoZone. Retrieved on June 4, 2013.
- Yawn, David. "Peabody Place seen as beacon calling business downtown. (The Peabody, Memphis, Tennessee) (Office Real Estate)." Memphis Business Journal at Highbeam Business. January 18, 1993. Retrieved on June 4, 2013. "A major adjoining centerpiece -- and a catalyst for the office, restaurant and residential venture -- will be a seven-story, $18 million office headquarters for Memphis-based AutoZone at Gayoso and Wagner." and "John Williams, corporate facilities manager for AutoZone, says 648 currently work at the headquarters. The company projects that number will grow to 789 by 1995 and to 868 by 1997. […]"
- About Us: Our Company, Our Culture AutoZone Official Site
- AutoZone sued for firing Everett Sikh bostonherald.com, Wednesday, September 29, 2010
- AutoZone sued for firing Everett Sikh, labeled a terrorist bostonherald.com, Wednesday, March 30, 2012
- List of top U.S. places to work: survey reuters.com, Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:07am EST
- List of top U.S. places to work: survey reuters.com, Wed Dec 26, 2009 09:00am EST
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to AutoZone.|
- AutoZone web site
- AutoZone Mexico site
- AutoZone corporate site
- ALLDATA web site
- AutoAnything web site
- Wheel nut web site
- AutoZone SEC Filings