Younger technicians looking to stand out from the crowd will soon be able to get their hands on a new line of tools and clothing.
Attendees of the NAPA National Business Conference on January 27 were shown the upcoming Radical line, offered by the parts and accessories company. About 800 attendees and 120 exhibitors took part in the tradeshow at the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto.
No shiny chrome pieces were laid out for visitors to see. The Radical line features all black tools and equipment — a mobile tool cart, impact wrench, wrench sets, gloves and toolbox.
The brand is set to launch May 1.
It’s an “extension” of the Ultra Pro professional line currently offered, said Yannick Addy, director of tools and equipment and retail at NAPA. “It’s really to follow the market, to follow the trends,” he said. “We’ve got young mechanics that are coming out. They want to stand out, they want something (different). They want something that they can relate to (through) their tools, so the radical series is perfect. It’s right in line.”
The mobile tool cart is different from others because, Addy said, it features a butcherblock top, making it a mobile workbench and far more durable. “More and more technicians are using tool carts as mobile workbenches. They’re putting transmissions on it, they’re putting their tools on it and when they work on it, they’re scratching the covers, they’re denting the covers,” he said. “The good thing about the butcherblock is that it won’t damage the cover and you still have access to the inside.
“At some point, if it does get too damaged, they can just sand it and it’s going to be good as new. It’s very solid and the drawer capacity is really high.”
The launch also featured the all-black impact wrench, combination and ratcheting wrench sets and gloves. The impact wrench, Addy described, has “one of the highest torque on the market right now with 1,200 lbs. of torque.” And, of course, it has “the Radical look and the Radical logo.”
Combination and ratchet wrenches will also be soon available. “It’s the same quality of tool that we got right now at a professional level (with) our ultra pro program, but instead of being chrome, it’s black oxide.”
And then there’s the toolbox.
Addy noted its many features, including a personal lock where technicians can store their wallet and cell phone. And if your device needs some juice, the toolbox is equipped with a charging outlet. The shape of the box was something Addy was keen to point out, saying that the design makes it friendlier to professionals by keeping their tools more organized.
“With all of the (tools you can put at the top), you can free up all of the bottom boxes. The number of sockets and wrenches you can put up there is impressive” compared to a regular toolbox, Addy said.
“It’s very visual, so they can see (all of their tools) right away” he added. “You don’t have to pen the toolbox and start looking. It’s right in their face and they can (find what they are looking for right away).”
And the feedback on it has been strong, Addy said. “It’s really awesome. People like the configuration, they like the look, they like the sturdiness of the box (and) they like all the features of the box.
“Also the capacity of the drawers is something (that has received high praise).”
Prices for the new line aren’t expected to be radical, Addy noted. Despite all the hoopla around a new line, buyers will pay “the same price … they’re going to get a good deal.”
The tradeshow welcomed visitors from across North America to display products. Below are a some photos from the event.
napa has always been a very good company as far as all the years myself and my wife has been dealing with them, thanks for the years of trust,,
We love NAPA & even more so the employees we deal with day in & day out. They are our family. So what I am about to say is the way I think it should be to keep garages in business. With everything going up for Hydro, test equipment, electronics, clothing, tool cost and the ongoing education cost. I could go on & on with what it takes to run our business. My issue is as all garage owners have huge over head and a responsibility to keeping people safe on the road. Their lives are in our hands & listening to heartbreaking stories from customers being hit hard on the pocket from carbon taxes, Hydro etc . My issue is with NAPA as well as other competitors is WHY OH WHY can someone please explain to me if we are giving a jobber say $150,000 a year WHY in heck somebody coming in off of the street can get the part at the same cost. It makes no sense. These are safety items such as brakes, shocks, steering parts, etc. So when we give the customer a mark up price they think we are gauging them. Garages have a bad reputation as it is. I can’t possibly understand how there can’t be two separate pricing systems. One for the walk-in customer, the other for the garages. I am speaking for all my friends in the automotive repair business. I do not want another garage to have to close their doors. These are my friends. It has been brought to NAPA’s attention on several occasions by our selves as I am sure others have too. I really hope this can be addressed.
Thank You so much .
Milton, Debbie & Family at
I was a NAPA jobber for 15 years. It took me a long time to figure it out, but the reality is this:
NAPA’s business model is broken.
With the advent of Autozone, Oriely’s, and Advance, the NAPA jobber often finds himself at a 30-40% price/gross profit disadvantage. I can guarantee you, that as the jobber’s profits have dropped to accomadte the new completion, the NAPA DC’s have not. For proof of this just check the gross profit levels for GPC. They have not, and will not decline. They always come first. The jobbers get the leftovers. Because of this, there is no room left for multi-tiered pricing. There is only room for one price, and it is generally 30-40% higher than the competition’s acquasition cost. Sadly, the days are numbered for the NAPA jobber. I make twice as much money working for someone else, than I ever did as a Jobber. NAPA is eating its young to maintain profits. That only lasts for so long…