Carquest Auto Parts will soon be moving into the former Advance Auto Parts location at 2625 S. MacArthur Boulevard in Springfield. Meanwhile, Advance Auto Parts will consolidate their two local stores into one location at 2721 South Grand Avenue.
In 2014, Advance Auto Parts, Inc. bought the parent company of Carquest, making the new combined company the largest auto parts retailer in North America. Rob Wilbern, who also owns Robert’s Automotive, has been the owner and president of the local Carquest since 2015.
“We’ve been working with Advance Auto Parts for a few months now on the relocation of this business. This industry is tough. It’s tough to find good people, and by consolidating their operations they’re able to focus all their resources in one place,” said Wilbern.
He explained that Advance Auto Parts focuses almost entirely on retail customers, while Carquest has a different business model. “We’re primarily commercial oriented right now, but we will be retail focused at our new location, in addition to business-to-business. Advance Auto Parts has had (the MacArthur location) for over 10 years and it has proven results. It’s going to be a nice addition to be able to accommodate walk-in customers. Right now, nobody knows where we are.”
The current Carquest location is at 949 Clock Tower Drive, and Wilbern plans to keep it for use as office space. At 7,000 square feet, the new location is significantly larger than their current space. Wilbern said he anticipates hiring three to five more employees in the next few months and being able to offer expanded hours. The move is scheduled to take place the first week of June.
A grand opening is planned for Saturday, June 23 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with refreshments from Sonic and merchandise specials.