Pep Boys

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Not to be confused with The Pet Shop Boys.

The Pep Boys: Manny, Moe & Jack
Industry Specialty retail and automotive repair and Tires
Founded August 1, 1921; 96 years ago (1921-08-01) (as Pep Auto Supplies)
1923 (1923) (as Pep Boys)
Founders Maurice (Moe) Strauss
Emanuel (Manny) Rosenfeld
W. Graham (Jack) Jackson
Moe Radavitz
Headquarters 3111 West Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A
Number of locations
930 (2017)
Key people
Daniel A Ninivaggi (CEO)
Products Auto parts, service and tires
Parent Icahn Enterprises

The Pep Boys: Manny, Moe & Jack, (branded and commonly abbreviated as Pep Boys) is an American automotive aftermarket retail and service chain.

Originally named Pep Auto Supply Company, the Company was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1921 by Emanuel (Manny) Rosenfeld, Maurice L. (Moe) Strauss, W. Graham (Jack) Jackson, and Moe Radavitz.

Currently headquartered in the Philadelphia neighborhood of East Falls, Pep Boys provides name-brand tires; automotive maintenance and repair; parts and expert advice for the Do-It-Yourselfer; commercial auto parts delivery; and fleet maintenance and repair to customers across the U.S. With Just Brakes, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack, Pep Boys operates more than 8,300 service bays in over 930 locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico.[1][2]


Pep Boys logo from June 6, 2004 to July 22, 2013.

The original "Pep Boys" were Emanuel "Manny" Rosenfeld, Maurice "Moe" Strauss, Graham "Jack" Jackson, and Moe Radavitz, four friends who, in August 1921,[3] chipped in $200 apiece to open a single auto parts store. They dubbed it Pep Auto Supply Company after noticing a shipment of Pep Valve grinding compound on the shelves.[4]

The current name emerged in pieces. “The Pep Boys” came from a policeman who worked near the store: Every time the officer stopped a car for driving without lights during nighttime hours, he would tell the driver, "Go see the boys at Pep" for a replacement oil wick (what cars used as headlights in those days).[5] A few years later, on a trip to California, Moe Strauss 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 Strauss returned to Philadelphia, the Company’s name was officially changed to "The Pep Boys   Manny, Moe & Jack". (Radavitz had cashed out the previous year.)[6]). Soon, the partners had commissioned the Manny, Moe and Jack caricatures that still serve as the Company's logo. When Jackson left in 1925, his caricature was replaced with that of Moe's brother, Isadore (Izzy) Strauss.[6] In 1929, Izzy Strauss left to form his own auto supply business in Brooklyn, Strauss Stores, which later merged with Roth & Schlenger Home and Auto to form R&S Strauss, the ancestor of Strauss Discount Auto, later known as Strauss Auto, which closed its doors on June 4, 2012.[7]

(The company name's reference to "Jack" remained unchanged.) No further changes were made to the logo until 1990, when Manny's cigar was removed.[8]

The Great Depression struck in 1929 and fortunately, Manny and Moe had not incurred business debts other than reasonable mortgages on store properties. Thanks to this, Pep Boys was insulated from the severe downturn that destroyed so many other businesses. Although unemployment rates reached 40 percent in some areas, Manny and Moe did not lay off employees or cut salaries during the Depression. Instead, they added employees as part of an expansion they had waited 10 years to launch. In 1933, Manny's brother, Murray Rosenfeld, opened the first West Coast Pep Boys store as part of a separate company named The Pep Boys- Manny, Moe & Jack of California and managed the Western operations. Within three years, Pep Boys of California had opened 11 stores.

In 1945, Pep Boys went public, and Manny Rosenfeld became the company's first corporate president, a position he held until his death in 1959. Moe Strauss served as president from 1960 to 1973 and remained chairman of the board of directors until his death in 1982. In 1986, Mitch Leibovitz became the first non-founding family member to be named company president. Manny's grandson, Stuart Rosenfeld, Pep Boys' vice president of distribution, is the only founding family member currently in Company management. The Strauss and Rosenfeld families continued to control approximately one-fifth of the company's stock until the early 1990s.[6]

By 1969, the number of Pep Boys stores grew to 124. Service bays and service managers were added to each store.

In the 1970s, all stores had self-serviced merchandising and a computerized inventory system was in use.

In the 1980s came aggressive growth. Pep Boys moved to the New York Stock Exchange and enjoyed rapid expansion with the introduction of the “supercenter.” The store count grew to more than 700 and the Company had more than 3,000 service bays. It generated more than $2 billion in annual sales.

In the 1990s, growth continued with the opening of stores in Puerto Rico.

In the 2000s, Pep Boys began to focus on the service business, opening neighborhood Service & Tire Centers in markets with existing Supercenters to help cater to the needs of customers who prefer to leave automotive maintenance and repair to the professionals.

In March 2007, Jeffrey C. Rachor was named CEO.

In April 2008, Pep Boys Chief Operating Officer Michael “Mike” R. Odell became Interim CEO with the resignation of Jeff Rachor.

In September 2008, Mike Odell was named CEO.

In October 2009, Pep Boys acquired tire retailer Florida Tire. The acquisition gave Pep Boys 10 Service & Tire Centers in the Orlando market.[9]

In March 2011, Pep Boys acquired seven stores from tire retailer Big O Tires. The acquisition gave Pep Boys Service & Tire Centers in Washington in the Pacific Northwest.[10]

In May 2011, Pep Boys acquired tire retailer Big 10 Tires. The acquisition gave Pep Boys an additional 84 Service & Tire Centers in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, including concentrations around Atlanta and Orlando.[11]

In June 2011, Pep Boys acquired seven locations from automotive repair company My Mechanic. The acquisition gave Pep Boys additional locations in the Houston, Texas metropolitan area.[12]

In January 2012, Pep Boys announced that it had agreed to be acquired by The Gores Group, a Los Angeles-based private equity investment company, for $15 per share, or approximately $1 billion. But four months later, in May 2012, it was announced that the deal had fallen through.[13]

In September 2013, Pep Boys acquired 18 Discount Tire Centers in Southern California, enabling the Company to boast, "Seventy-five percent of Los Angeles-area residents now live within three miles of Pep Boys."[4]

In September 2014, Mike Odell resigned as President and CEO. John Sweetwood became Interim CEO.[14] 

In June 2015, Scott P. Sider, group president of Hertz Corporation's Rent A Car Americas, became the Company's new CEO.[15]

In October 2015, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., agreed to purchase the Company for $835,000,000.[16]

In December 2015, Pep Boys terminated the previously announced acquisition deal with Bridgestone and signed a merger agreement with a subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises L.P.    


In February 2016, Icahn Enterprises L.P. announced that it completed its acquisition of Pep Boys in an all-cash transaction for $18.50 per share or approximately $1.03 billion.[2]

In January 2017, Pep Boys acquired Just Brakes, a 134-store automotive repair and maintenance chain. Just Brakes is now a wholly owned subsidiary of The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack.

Pep Boys is owned by Icahn Automotive Group LLC, which was formed by its parent, Icahn Enterprises L.P., to invest in and operate businesses involved in aftermarket parts distribution and service.    


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  2. ^ a b Pep Boys. "Icahn Enterprises Completes Acquisition of Pep Boys". Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Pep Boys Celebrates 90th Anniversary; Announces Search For Vintage Memorabilia - THE SHOP". TheShopMag. 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  4. ^ a b "The Pep Boys Story," Pep Boys Auto, Internet website [1], accessed 22 June 2015.
  5. ^ Ibid.
  6. ^ a b c Pep Boys Company History Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  7. ^ Strauss Auto company history Archived May 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  8. ^ "The Pep Boys Tune Up Image by Losing Cigar: Advertising: The company stubs out the familiar stogie in its logo to coincide with the Great American Smokeout.". latimes. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Pep Boys to buy Florida Tire". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Pep Boys buys 7 Big O stores in Washington". Tire Business. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Pep Boys buys Big 10 Tires". Philadelphia Business Journal. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Pep Boys buys 7 Houston-area 'My Mechanic' stores". Tire Business. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  13. ^ Pep Boys Shares Dive as Buyout Blows Up Retrieved August 20, 2012
  14. ^ Pep Boys CEO Mike Odell Resigns; Names John Sweetwood Interim Chief Archived February 14, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Pep Boys Names Scott P. Sider Chief Executive Officer". 15 June 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Bridgestone buying Pep Boys for $835 million


Further reading[edit]

  • Calabro, Marian. The Pep Boys: Founders of the Automotive Aftermarket. New York: Lark Books (a division of Sterling Publishing Co.), 2006.

External links[edit]