AutoZone, Inc. is an American retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories, the largest in the United States. Founded in 1979, AutoZone has over 6,400 stores across the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil and the US Virgin Islands. The company is based in Memphis, Tennessee.



Originally a division of Memphis-based wholesale grocer Malone & Hyde, the company was known as Auto Shack. After the sale of the grocery operation to the Fleming Companies of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the name of the company was changed to AutoZone to reflect the new focus and to settle a lawsuit brought by Tandy Corporation for infringing on Tandy's "
Radio Shack RadioShack, formerly RadioShack Corporation, is an American retailer founded in 1921. At its peak in 1999, RadioShack operated over 8,000 worldwide stores named RadioShack or Tandy Electronics in the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Austra ...
" trademark. On July 4, 1979, the first store opened in Forrest City, ArkansasAutoZone, Inc.
AutoZone Official Site
under the name of Auto Shack. Doc Crain was the store's first manager. Sales that first day totaled $300.00.


In 1981, Express Parts or VDP is implemented to get the customers hard to find parts by special ordering them through wholesalers. Total stores was 73 in 7 states. In 1984, the company became the first auto parts retailer to create a quality control program for its parts. Total stores was 194 in 13 states. In 1985, Doc Crain coined the term WITTDTJR, which stands for "What it takes to do the job right." Total store count is 263 in 14 states. Peter Formanek stepped in as president. He oversaw the auto parts firm's daily operations and worked on growth strategy. By 1986, expansion had made the company grow into a large store chain across the South and the Midwest. That year, Darren Reltherford, manager of Auto Shack's Memphis, Tennessee store, received the first ''Extra Miler'' award, which has since been given to AutoZoners who show their dedication to customer satisfaction by "going the extra mile" for customer service. The Duralast line of alternators and starters is released. The Loan-A-Tool program begins allowing customers the ability to borrow specific tools for jobs. The 4th Distribution Center in
Greenville, South Carolina Greenville (; locally ) is a city in and the seat of Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. With a population of 70,720 at the 2020 census, it is the sixth-largest city in the state. Greenville is located approximately halfway bet ...
opens. Total of stores is 339 in 15 states. In 1987, Auto Shack officially changed its name to AutoZone. The first AutoZone store was in
Enid, Oklahoma Enid ( ) is the ninth-largest city in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It is the county seat of Garfield County. As of the 2020 census, the population was 51,308. Enid was founded during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in the Land Run of 1893, a ...
. That year also, the company introduced WITT-JR, an electronic catalog used to look up parts and keep warranty information. Total of stores is now 459 in 16 states. In 1989, the company began using a computerized store management system (SMS). The Duralast battery line is released consisting of Sub-Zero, Desert and long life. Total of stores is 513 in 17 states.


In 1991, its stock began trading on the
New York Stock Exchange The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed c ...
using the ticker symbol "AZO." It opened up at $27.50 a share. The 5th DC opens in
Lafayette, Louisiana Lafayette (, ) is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, and the most populous city and parish seat of Lafayette Parish, located along the Vermilion River. It is Louisiana's fourth largest incorporated municipality by population and the 234th ...
. The company also became the first auto parts retailer to register customer warranties in a computer database. In 1994, AutoZone began using satellites to facilitate communication between stores and the corporate office. Sales hit $1.5 billion. In 1995, AutoZone opened its 1,000th store in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, the ''Duralast'' trademark made its debut with the ''Duralast'' and ''Duralast Gold'' batteries. Total of stores is now 1,143 in 26 states. 1996 was the year when the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, pub ...
era arrived at the company, when AutoZone opened its company Web site. The new commercial program debuted in Germantown, Tennessee.
ALLDATA ALLDATA LLC is an online source for automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) information. ALLDATA provides vehicle manufacturers' diagnostic and repair information. ALLDATA was founded in 1986 to meet market demand for OE repair informatio ...
, a software company based in
Elk Grove, California Elk Grove is a city in Sacramento County, California, located just south of the state capital of Sacramento. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade– Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2020 Census, the population o ...
that provides automotive diagnostic and repair information, was acquired. Company founder Pitt Hyde retired as chairman and CEO in 1997. John Adams became the new chairman and CEO. In 1998, AutoZone acquired ADAP Inc. Who had stores under the ADAP Discount Auto Parts and Auto Palace nameplates respectively, both being auto parts chains in the northeastern United States with 112 stores, TruckPro L.P., a chain with 43 stores in 14 states, and the 560-store Chief Auto Parts Inc., a chain with a presence in 5 states. At the commencement of fiscal 1999, AutoZone made another acquisition by purchasing 100 Express stores from The Pep Boys—Manny, Moe & Jack. The company began a process of internationalization with their first store abroad, which opened in
Nuevo Laredo Nuevo Laredo () is a city in the Municipality of Nuevo Laredo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The city lies on the banks of the Rio Grande, across from Laredo, United States. The 2010 census population of the city was 373,725. Nuevo Lar ...
Mexico Mexico (Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Gua ...
. AutoZone closed the 1990s by debuting at the
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along ...
list in 1999.


Steve Odland became AutoZone's third CEO in 2001. Also in 2001, AutoZone sold TruckPro to Paratus Capital Management. In 2002, AutoZone developed a network of "hub, feeder, and satellite" stores to have more product in the market area, while reducing inventory investment. Sales hit $5.33 billion. In 2003, the ''Duralast tool'' line was introduced. This was a year of important negotiations for AutoZone, as the company partnered with other important auto parts industry companies, such as CarMax and Midas. AutoZone de Mexico opens the first DC in
Nuevo Laredo Nuevo Laredo () is a city in the Municipality of Nuevo Laredo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The city lies on the banks of the Rio Grande, across from Laredo, United States. The 2010 census population of the city was 373,725. Nuevo Lar ...
Mexico Mexico (Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Gua ...
. Total stores number 3,219 in 48 states and 49 in Mexico. In 2004, founder J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. In 2005, William C. Rhodes III was named president and CEO. Steve Odland left to become the chairman and CEO of
Office Depot The ODP Corporation is an American office supply holding company headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. The company has combined annual sales of approximately $11 billion, and employs about 38,000 associates with businesses in the United States. ...
. In 2007, Bill Rhodes, then 42, was named chairman, president and chief executive officer of AutoZone, Inc. on June 6. In 2008, AutoZone opened their 4,000th store in
Houston Houston (; ) is the most populous city in Texas, the most populous city in the Southern United States, the fourth-most populous city in the United States, and the sixth-most populous city in North America, with a population of 2,304,580 i ...
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, it is the second-largest U.S. state by bo ...
. Sales hit $6.2 billion.


On December 15, 2011, ALLDATA LLC, an operating unit of AutoZone, expanded its direct presence in
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world's second-largest country by total ...
to better serve its growing customer base. On August 17, 2012, AutoZone expanded into their 49th state Alaska by opening their 5,000th store in Wasilla, Alaska In 2012 AutoZone opened their first store in Brazil. In December 2012, AutoZone purchased AutoAnything.com, an ecommerce leader in aftermarket automotive parts based in San Diego, California. By April 2017, AutoZone had been the largest retailer of automotive parts in North America for three consecutive years. As of August 2017, AutoZone had 5,465 locations in the United States, 524 locations in Mexico, and 46 locations in Brazil, for a total of 6,035. On October 22, 2018, Pitt Hyde announced that he would be stepping down from AutoZone's board of directors.


In late May 2020, two AutoZone stores were destroyed by
arson Arson is the crime of willfully and deliberately setting fire to or charring property. Although the act of arson typically involves buildings, the term can also refer to the intentional burning of other things, such as motor vehicles, water ...
during the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

Corporate affairs

AutoZone is incorporated in the state of Nevada.


Since October 1995, AutoZone has been headquartered in its J.R. Hyde, III Store Support Center (SSC), a , eight-story building in
Downtown ''Downtown'' is a term primarily used in North America by English speakers to refer to a city's sometimes commercial, cultural and often the historical, political and geographic heart. It is often synonymous with its central business district ...
Memphis, Tennessee.AutoZone HQ holds title as most earthquake-resistant Memphis building
" '' Memphis Business Journal''. May 13, 2011. Retrieved on December 6, 2014.
As of 2013 there were over 1,200 employees there. The project manager of the building's construction was Rob Norcross, a principal at LRK Inc. The building has the capability to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake because it has a special base isolation system that had a price tag of $950,000.

Private labels

Valucraft, Duralast, and Duralast Gold are AutoZone's
private label A private label, also called a private brand or private-label brand, is a brand owned by a company, offered by that company alongside and competing with brands from other businesses. A private-label brand is almost always offered exclusively by th ...
brands for lead-acid car battery, automotive batteries (manufactured primarily by Johnson Controls, but also East Penn, Exide, and other manufacturers). Duralast Platinum is an Absorbent glass mat, AGM line of batteries. AutoZone also sells tools under the Duralast brand which carry a lifetime warranty. Brake pad labels include (ranging from least to most expensive): *Duralast - OEM-like performance; semi-metallic or organic. *Duralast Gold - OEM design and performance; semi-metallic or ceramic. *Duralast Max (in the process of being phased out) - superior to OEM design and performance; ceramic. *Duralast Elite (currently being introduced selectively by market) - superior to OEM design and performance; ceramic; copper-free. *Duralast GT Street - performance pads for select applications. Valucraft pads are being phased out, as of early 2015. Duralast GT Street pads introduced early 2018. The Valucraft, Duralast, and Duralast Gold names are used on various other parts and accessories as well. Duralast Elite pads were first trademarked and began being introduced to select markets in early 2020.

Retail stores

AutoZone's 6,000+ retail outlets throughout the United States, Mexico and Brazil stock a variety of aftermarket parts as well as some OEM parts. All AutoZone stores are corporately owned; the company does not have franchise operations.About Us: Our Company, Our Culture
AutoZone Official Site


In 2004, AutoZone celebrated its 25th anniversary and announced a corporate sponsorship agreement with auto racing association NASCAR. In 2007, AutoZone sponsored Kevin Harvick and Timothy Peters in the NASCAR Busch Series. AutoZone holds the naming rights to the downtown Memphis AutoZone Park, baseball stadium that is the home of the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. The company also sponsors the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl, alongside the College Football Playoff Foundation donated $250,136.03 to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl awarded 2018's Distinguished Citizen Award to Priscilla Presley. They are an official sponsor of Bellator MMA, the world's second largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion.


AutoZone paid $3.3 million to settle a lawsuit to the families of a family who was killed due to being rear-ended by an AutoZone-owned truck. The suit alleges that AutoZone was negligent in training the driver of the truck. AutoZone faced a lawsuit for gender discrimination in which the plaintiff alleged that men treated her differently when she was promoted and that she feared revealing a pregnancy to her superior. When the pregnancy was discovered, she alleges that her district manager pressured her to step down from her position. She was demoted in February 2006 and fired in November 2011. The jury on the case ruled in 2014 in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her $185 million in punitive damages as well as approximately $873,000 in back wages. AutoZone has announced its intention to appeal the verdict. The Wall Street Journal's Jacob Gershman suggested that the verdict would be scaled back, noting that the jury verdict is not the end-all be-all. A Georgia woman was fired after a customer insulted her and used multiple racial epithets against her. She alleges that the district manager told her to "suck it up," and she is filing a lawsuit against AutoZone for violating her civil rights. AutoZone came under fire from allegations that a district manager had told an employee to remove a flag displayed on the company's premises for the sake of improved diversity. AutoZone denies that and claimed that it was the poor means by which the flag was put up, with duct tape and suction cups. In June 2019 AutoZone entered into an $11 million settlement against with the State of California to resolve allegations that the company had violated state laws governing hazardous waste, hazardous materials, and confidential consumer information. AutoZone is charged with illegally disposing of millions of hazardous waste items, including used motor oil and automotive fluids, at landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste.

See also

* Advance Auto Parts * CarParts.com * Carquest * National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) * O'Reilly Auto Parts * Pep Boys * ''SCO v. AutoZone''


External links

AutoZone web site

AutoZone corporate site
{{Authority control Automotive part retailers of the United States Companies based in Memphis, Tennessee American companies established in 1979 Retail companies established in 1979 1979 establishments in Arkansas Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange 1991 initial public offerings