Advance Auto Parts now open


CHICO — There’s a new business in the former Pep Boys location on Mangrove Avenue, and like the building itself, the business is coming in “big.”

Advance Auto Parks, which has more than 5,000 stores across the United States (including 110 in California), is now open at the 11,000 square-foot location.

It’s a big store with equally big customer-service goals.

For example, unlike most auto parts stores, the store deliberately doesn’t have aisle markers. Instead, the staff likes to walk customers right over to whatever product they need.

“We never give a customer ‘the finger’” said general manager Jose Cruz, referring to how they escort customers.

The store, which opened June 23 and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday attended by many community members, sells car oil, batteries, accessories, filters, car fresheners, cleaning supplies and detailing paint, plus much more.

“We are the preferred destination,” Cruz said. “I look forward to being the go-to for parts.”

Advance Auto Parts also ships products. They install windshield wipers and do battery installations for free. They also replace air filters and complete free battery testing and figure out why the check engine light is on.

“The store focuses on service and being a one-stop shop,” Cruz said.

The store has a staff of nine employees, currently working as full and part-time employees. They average 45 customers per day, and are looking to increase that to 100 customers a day.

When Cruz’s wife gave birth to their first child, he was allowed to take paternity leave and did work online at home. Employees also get sick days and vacation days. Cruz said he feels like he and his family are taken care of.

The store staff also aims to make customers more self-sufficient by showing them how to fix their cars themselves. The staff is also mostly bilingual to help customers who speak Spanish.

New employees undergo three months of training when the join the staff. Employees have to be 18 years old to work and 20 years old to drive for deliveries.

The store will hold a do-it-yourself event in September where customers can learn how to check fluids and brakes and learn basic care for their cars.

“With technology advances, it’s easy to help customers. Service is quick and easy,” Cruz said.

Business has been consistent since the store opened.

“We’re excited to be open,” said Cruz.

Cruz expects a lot of business comes from Chico State students when school is in session. Students ask for batteries, headlights, installation bulbs, wiper blades and filters. There are also a lot of older customers who shopped at the store when it was Pep Boys.

“Older people often say ‘I was shopping here since before you were born”, said Cruz.

Advance Auto Parts is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The store is located at 1555 Mangrove Ave. The store will hold its grand opening Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., complete with food trucks, music and old school and muscle cars. The store can be found on Instagram at Advance Auto Chico.

This is the debut of Jennie Blevins’ weekly “It’s Your Business” column. Please submit any business-related news to [email protected] Thank you.




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