By Joe Jarosz
November 12, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Independence Avenue is advancing to the next step of more businesses.
Advance Auto Parts, Inc., the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets, opened its ninth store in Kansas City at 2661 Independence Blvd. on Oct. 24, 2014. An official ribbon cutting was held last week.
Company officials said they chose this location for the store because it’s convenient to where their customers live and shop as well as the garages where they take their vehicles for repair. It’s also convenient for their employees, noting that almost all Advance Auto employees live within five miles of the new store.
Oscar Gonzalez, the general manager, is a 15-year veteran of the automotive and retail sales industries and has been with the Advance Auto Parts team for nearly eight years. He is ASE [Automotive Service Excellence] certified, having passed testing of his automotive knowledge by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Gonzalez, along with district representatives, said they are invested in the Northeast community. To show the store is serious about being an active community member, Gonzalez, along with district manager Scott Carroll, presented a check for $1,000 to the local chapter of the United Way.
Maryellen Rideout, regional vice president of Advance Auto, said there are two key strategies the company likes to follow. First, service leadership and superior availability. Since the founding, the company helps to build the self-esteem and success of all team members, great customer service and service the community and support non-profit charities at the corporate and local level.
The new store offers customers a wide range of parts and recognized national brands as well as several free services. Store team members will provide free installation for your new windshield wipers and also offer a complimentary check of the vehicle’s electrical system and old battery, as well as provide free installation of a new battery with purchase on most vehicles. The store offers fast parts delivery to local commercial customers such as professional mechanics and garages. During regular store hours, customers may drop off used motor oil and batteries for recycling – ensuring that these materials don’t end up in landfills where they could harm the environment.
“This new store’s 10 team members will delight our customers with dependable and fast service every job, every day,” Cory Schulz, district leader for Advance Auto Parts, said. “The right parts at the right price are as important as the right advice to finish the job.”
Around this time last year, when plans for the store were still going through City Hall, some in the area opposed the idea of opening a auto parts store. First-District councilman Scott Wagner, however, was a staunch supporter of bringing new businesses to Independence Avenue. After the grand opening, Wagner said one of the most important aspects of growing Northeast is to have willing investors in new construction and new businesses, especially along the Independence Avenue corridor.
“It sends the signal that there is a customer base willing to spend their dollars locally, which in turn draws new investment,” Wagner said.
Bobbi Baker-Hughes, president of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, said everything the staff and company are doing warms her heart. She thanked the company officials for bringing jobs and new products to the Northeast community. She also thanked Advance Auto for lighting a fire at the corner of Independence and Chestnut Avenues.
“I think you’re an impetus of economic development and we really need to work with one another and you’ve shared that with me in conversation and by being a very community based company we appreciate that,” Baker-Hughes said. “That’s the exactly the type of neighbors that are needed. We need to help one another help what we all want to be and that is a successful community where the quality of life is improved by those of us who participation in making things better.”
The store is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.