Tuesday, July 27, 1999

Auto parts chain
to open 4 Oahu stores

The retailer's first facility will
debut Thursday in the Stadium
Marketplace Shopping Center

By Russ Lynch


A major national auto parts retailer is about to enter the Hawaii market, to go head-to-head against other chains such as NAPA, CarQuest and dozens of independent dealers.

The first Checker Auto Parts outlet in Hawaii a 10,211-square-foot store in the Stadium Marketplace Shopping Center, will open Thursday and at least three other Checker stores will quickly follow, the company said today.

Checker is a subsidiary of Phoenix-based CSK Auto Corp., which has been expanding rapidly in Western states. The company said its Hawaii district manager is Norm Yoshimoto, who was born in Hawaii and has been a key Checker employee on the West Coast for 13 years.

"We saw a market opportunity because we don't think you're saturated" with parts businesses in Hawaii, said Jim Myers, a CSK Auto spokesman.

What makes the Checker stores stand apart from many other dealerships is that they offer very little private-label merchandise made and packaged specifically for particular chains, Myers said. Instead, the Checker stores offer nationally known brands such as Raybestos, Autolite and Borg-Warner, he said.

In addition to parts, the Checker stores also offer free electrical testing for batteries, starters and alternators and accept used oil and batteries for recycling, Myers said.

The store in the Stadium Marketplace on Salt Lake Boulevard will be managed by Tony Ramirez, an experienced Checker Auto Parts manager from Southern California, Myers said.

CSK operates more than 900 retail outlets under the Checker, Schuck's Auto Supply, Kragen Auto Parts and Big Wheel-Rossi names. Last year, the company had revenues of $1 billion, up 18.2 percent from $846 million in 1997.

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