Founded in 1932, Advance Auto Parts today is the largest retail provider of automotive replacement parts and accessories. Arthur Taubman purchased the small three-store chain, then called Advance Stores, LLC, in 1932 from Pep Boys. In 1969, the company announced it was transitioning from a variety store model to selling specialty auto parts.
Advance Stores Co. changed its name to Advance Auto in 1974, later becoming Advance Auto Parts. In the past 21 years, it has acquired several other store chains, including Nationwise Auto Parts, Western Auto Supply Company/Parts America, Carport Auto Parts, Discount Auto Parts, Inc., Trak Auto Parts Stores, Karparts Auto Stores, Inc., Lappen Auto Supply Co., Inc., Autopart International, and B.W.P. Distributors. Advance Auto Parts also completed in 2014 the acquisition of General Parts International, Inc., a distributor and supplier of original equipment and aftermarket replacement parts, operating the Carquest and Worldpac brands. In 2001, Advance Auto Parts became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.
Advance Auto Parts employees value the extensive learning opportunities available and the close-knit relationships with coworkers, noting that "(m)anagement is genuinely concerned about their associates" though some voice concern that the rapid growth has changed the company culture. – less