Auto Service World
Feature   September 6, 2016   by Steve Pawlett

Uni-Select Opens First Bumper-to-Bumper Corporate Store


 

 

 

Uni-Select Inc.  has officially opened its first corporate store in Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec under its new "Bumper to Bumper – Canada's Parts People" branding. Left to right: Frank Marateo, Ben Michaud, Gino Gagné, Roberto Denis,  and André Dolbec

Uni-Select Inc.  has officially opened its first corporate store in Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec under its new “Bumper to Bumper – Canada’s Parts People” branding. Left to right: Frank Marateo, Ben Michaud, Gino Gagné, Roberto Denis,  and André Dolbec

Uni-Select Inc.  has officially opened its first corporate store in Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec under its new “Bumper to Bumper – Canada’s Parts People” branding.

Uni-Select is rebranding all of its corporate stores under the Bumper to Bumper banner.

The official colours of the Bumper to Bumper Corporate stores are red and black and the unique in-store design incorporates the local history of each location by including a picture of the previous owner.

“Most of our corporate stores that we will open will come from acquisitions from local store owners who have been around for years and are well known their community so we want to ensure that we keep that local history for each store,” explains Ben Michaud, manager of corporate stores in Quebec.

In the Canadian Prairies there are currently over 100 independent customer Bumper to Bumper locations, most of which will be re-imaged with the new Bumper to Bumper brand over time. In addition, the Bumper to Bumper brand will be available to its 1,150 independent wholesalers across Canada, which expands the brand’s presence nationally. The brand will provide a higher level of product consistency as well as enhanced merchandising, marketing and advertising programs.

“We are currently in the process of installing a new software program to improve the efficiency of our interaction with our customers.  We want to provide the best service possible to our customers,” adds Michaud. “When a call comes in for parts, the counterperson will have the customer instantly popping up on their screen, enabling them to have up-to-date information on that customer so they can provide that personal touch.”

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“We have developed a new interior layout and look to our stores as well.  When an installer comes into our store he/she will feel like they are in a garage” explains Michaud.  “There will be one section in the store where there will be a wall of tool boxes full of tools and in addition, there will be a compressor set up with all the heavy equipment as well for them to see.”

“We will have a 12,000 square foot showroom here in Riviere-du-Loup. Our corporate store showrooms sizes will vary from store to store from 12,000, to 3,000 and 2,000 square feet, depending on the location. The corporate stores will also feature a large central area for the counter people because this is where the knowledge is,” adds Michaud.

The launch of a new national look will create a national synergy and identity, consistent from coast to coast. “Bumper to Bumper, is not just about an image, it is everything that Uni-Select stands for; the quality of its products and the customer experience,” says Michaud.

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Uni-Select has a 75-bench training centre in Boucherville, Quebec and two mobile training units and four full-time technical trainers on staff, as well as a comprehensive training offering across Canada, who provide training for technicians, jobbers and Uni-Select employees.

“We can provide ABS training or diesel training for installers for instance, and we can modify these courses for our counter staff so they better understand how these systems work. This technical knowledge enables them to better understand a customer’s needs and provide more knowledgeable service.

Much more than a brand name, Bumper to Bumper is also a program offering auto parts distributors a broad range of solutions. The Bumper to Bumper banner is a turnkey program for wholesalers looking for complete program support, a strong brand image and a very aggressive go-to-market approach. The Auto Parts Plus store brand also remains an important part of Uni-Select’s strategy supporting those independent customers who prefer a menu driven approach.

The Bumper to Bumper name has considerable history in Canada.

Bumper to Bumper was introduced to the Canadian automotive aftermarket in 1977 and began with two stores. Over the years, the brand presence expanded to the Prairies and entered the Uni-Select fold in 2006. Today, over 100 auto parts stores operate in Western Canada under the Bumper to Bumper banner.

The new logo features a strong and clean word mark. Bumper to Bumper is complemented by an icon that represents two bumpers coming together, from front to back, thereby illustrating Uni-Select’s commitment to covering all parts for a wide range of vehicles.

“We are Canada’s Parts People, and this new image will help us communicate the message that we value our Canadian roots and values” adds Michaud.

“This is the next step in the evolution in supporting our long-time independent customers across the country by building a national brand supported by our national distribution network. We are better positioned than ever to be the leader in the automotive aftermarket from coast to coast,” adds Henry Buckley, president and chief executive officer of Uni-Select.

 

 

 

 


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1 Comment » for Uni-Select Opens First Bumper-to-Bumper Corporate Store
  1. Mike Heslop says:

    I helped the placement and opening of the first (as near as I can recall ) Bumper to Bumper store on the prairie in mid 1960’s. The location was in Saskatoon, in the then new, Bowman brothers building on Quebec Ave, which I supervised, at the time.
    Mike Heslop.

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