16
Auto Care Service and Retail Outlets
Traditionally, auto care parts, accessories and chemicals have moved through dedicated channels of distribution along DIY (do-
it-yourself) and DIFM (do-it-for-me) channels. DIY retail consumers installed or consumed products purchased in retail outlets or
over-the-counter at parts stores. DIFM consumers either go straight to a professional automotive technician, purchasing the “job,” in
which they also entrust their technician to select and purchase their part or products. In some cases, DIFM parts and products may
be specified directly by the consumer for installation by a professional.
Consolidation continues to reduce the number of service outlets at a slow, steady rate. This is reflected in the 3.7 percent decrease in
the compounded annual growth rate of specialty repair shops. Over the past decade, a large number of specialty repair shops have
been consolidated into the general repair category, which has grown by 0.7 percent annually. Another significant change in service
channel outlets is the decline in the number of motor vehicle dealers, down 2.2 percent CAGR during the 2009 to 2017 period. On
the other hand, since 2009 the tire dealers category has grown by 1 percent annually, compared with the rest of the service sectors,
which have remained unchanged, over the same period.
Demands on American consumers’ time have driven changes in the servicing sector. Service customers now look to get in and out
quickly and accomplish the most they can at every stop, resulting in consolidation of specialized shops into larger, general repair
centers catering to time-pressured consumers seeking “one-stop shops.” Many general repair centers are also evolving beyond fast
and varied services, to offering value-added customer amenities like upgraded waiting lounges, wifi, commuter shuttles and no-cost
service loaner-cars.
Within the retail channel, convenience has also become a driver. Drug store outlets, discount stores and warehouse clubs have
seemingly sprung up on every corner, growing annually at 2.3, 3.1 and 3.6 percent, respectively. The auto parts store, which is the
industry’s source for auto parts and consumables, remains remarkably stable in outlet representation. Considering the widespread
consolidation of auto parts retailers in the past decade, the number of outlets has been gradually moving towards 37,000 outlets,
many of which have been rebranded and upgraded over the past ten years.
Outlet Type200920102011201220132014201520162017*
CAGR
2009/2017
Motor Vehicle Dealers
1 20,010 18,460 17,700 17,540 17,635 16,396 16,545 16,708 16,812 -2.2%
General Repair Garages
2 75,637 76,108 76,731 77,561 78,354 79,240 79,500 80,066 80,240 0.7%
Tire Dealers18,54718,67518,98019,47019,759 19,931 19,818 19,863 20,013 1.0%
Specialty Repair Shops
2 9,149 8,663 8,415 8,101 7,785 7,534 7,322 7,001 6,760 -3.7%
Gasoline Stations
2 104,400 103,768 104,011 104,837 104,855 104,688 104,961 104,887 105,482 0.1%
Oil Change and Lubrication Shops
2 7,501 7,518 7,49 0 7,427 7,430 7,368 7,354 7,449 7,367 -0.2%
Independent Body Shops
2 35,193 34,764 34,358 34,437 34,344 34,381 34,510 34,654 34,629 -0.2%
Total Number of Outlets270,437267,956267,685269,373270,162269,538270,010270,628271,3040.0%
Outlet Type200920102011201220132014201520162017*
CAGR
2009/2017
Auto Parts Stores35,70835,40935,58335,70236,065 36,444 36,453 36,622 36,889 0.4%
Department Stores4,9364,8524,9064,8944,839 4,758 4,683 4,665 4,647 -0.8%
Discount Stores8,1648,2499,3519,3809,299 10,188 10,481 10,437 10,389 3.1%
Hardware Stores and Home Centers26,77026,43425,52725,09724,707 24,522 24,262 24,42324,176-1.3%
Grocery and Convenience Stores111,455113,508115,027116,328117,851 119,014 119,054 119,324 119,351 0.9%
Drug Stores52,91854,47154,70956,41161,064 62,300 62,91663,69763,3052.3%
Warehouse Clubs4,6694,6624,8284,9925,652 5,827 5,972 6,073 6,176 3.6%
Total Number of Outlets244,620247,585249,931252,804259,477 263,053 263,821 265,241 264,933 1.0%
Industry Service Channel Outlets
Industry Retail Channel Outlets
Notes: * Preliminary Historical data have been revised.
Some channels listed in the “Industry Retail Channels” table include outlets that also perform automotive service.
Sources: 1
NADA Industry Analysis Division
2
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Notes: * Preliminary Historical data have been revised.
Not all department, hardware, home center, grocery, convenience, drug and warehouse club stores sell automotive products.
Sources: Auto Care Association, Bureau of Labor Statistics
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