Auto Service World
News   December 29, 2003   by Auto Service World

Pep Boys To Expand Offerings for Growth


Pep Boys has announced that it is looking to grow its business by offering customer more, says the CEO it hired in April.
Larry Stevenson, 47, is largely credited for developing the Chapters Inc. book retailing chain, which is now part of the Indigo chain of stores, but has no automotive experience.
According to reports, he plans to revive Pep Boys by getting more customers and a better product mix into the chain’s retail stores and grabbing a larger share of the automotive service market, with its hefty 25 percent profit margin.
The new retail products include gas-powered scooters, power tools and portable DVD players.
Customers having their cars serviced will now be processed inside the store, to walk them past the retail goods. And the service available will be limited to basic car maintenance and preventive measures instead of complicated jobs like transmission overhauls, to boost volume.The chain will also start selling tire brands other than its own.
In 1995 Stevenson and two partners founded Chapters Inc. by merging Canadian book chains SmithBooks and Coles. Chapters became the largest book retailer in Canada, with more than 300 stores nationwide at the time.
It built 71 superstores and was pivotal in changing the nature of bookselling in Canada before becoming part of rival Indigo in a takeover.


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