NAPA Customers, Employees Enjoy New Location
NAPA Auto Parts is a staple of many communities in the U.S., with more than 6,000 stores nationwide, and Jamestown’s new location is showing customers what the chain’s future has in store.
Alicia Beal, sales manager for the NAPA Buffalo distribution center, said the new 1024 Washington St. NAPA location is known as an impact store, which means it looks like how other stores will be modeled in the future, including an iconic exterior and expansive inventory.
“All in all, the building look is newer and updated,” Beal said.
Jamestown’s NAPA store also boasts various products for cars, boats, tractors, ATVs, plows, lawn mowers and practically anything that has an engine that someone may need. Beal wants to “make sure (NAPA) is the superior parts store in town.”
“NAPA know-how” is provided through an experienced staff that receives extensive internal training. NAPA is always hiring those interested in auto parts and learning more about the business.
Formerly located at 208 W. Fourth St., the Jamestown store is now able to have a larger footprint on the community and increase its marketing through location alone. Visibility from Washington Street instead of the one-way Fourth Street and a parking lot instead of only street parking have both been attributed to the greater number of walk-ins the store has received since it opened July 30. Construction followed the demolition of vacant properties that were removed in 2017.
The new location isn’t just good for business, but the conditions of the workplace as well. Several employees noted that the new, approximately 5,000-square-foot location is brighter, cleaner and more organized than the Fourth Street location, and all products can now fit under one roof. Before, different parts were stored in three different buildings, which made retrieving certain items a hassle in the winter months.
“This location makes a big difference,” said Bob Olsen, a counter sales worker with more than 30 years of experience. “The atmosphere is a lot nicer.”
A team of 25 people helped make the move from the old location to the new possible during the summer. The past couple months have ushered customers, both new and familiar, into a newly organized location with a mezzanine and aisles with new signage to advertise products.
Jim Beach, owner of Superior Auto Supply and seven regional NAPA stores, thinks the move to the new location has been a positive experience. He said customers have been happy with the extended hours; NAPA in Jamestown is now open seven days a week and until 7 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. Saturday. NAPA is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
“We have something for everybody,” Beach said. “It’s way more efficient.”
Meeting necessities at new times has helped customers, too. Beach said an individual recently encountered an emergency problem while on the interstate and was able to make a pit stop at NAPA for the part he needed one evening.
Beach began his career with NAPA Auto Parts in 1987 as a delivery driver and bought his first store, the branch in Northeast, Pa., in 2001. Now he owns a flagship store with the new Jamestown location and in doing so has become the second owner of NAPA stores in the northeastern U.S. to own an impact store.
“Every quarter, we have deals on tools and equipment,” Beal mentioned.
There are new deals every month on oil, cleaners and other smaller products as well. Beal reported a 22 percent retail increase in September.
“This is wonderful compared to what we had before,” Mike Johnson, store manager, said of the Jamestown store.
Once the store’s employees learned where all the products were newly organized, something Olsen said was the biggest hurdle in changing locations, they unanimously agreed the move was a positive change for all involved. Better heating and air conditioning have helped make uncomfortably hot or cold days more manageable.
Johnson said that some people have visited the new store and had never known there was a previous location in Jamestown. The increased visibility continues to make NAPA the premiere place to get parts for anything with an engine, and as an impact store, it stands for what the vision of NAPA’s future might look like.