O'Reilly Auto Parts to open Bradenton store

cschelle@bradenton.comDecember 19, 2013 

O'Reilly Auto Parts, based in Springfield, Mo., plans to open a Bradenton store in summer 2014 that will serve as a warehouse hub to future stores in the area. PHOTO PROVIDED

BRADENTON -- A Missouri-based auto parts store is coming to Bradenton as part of a Florida-wide expansion plan.

O'Reilly Auto Parts of Springfield, Mo., has plans to build a hub store at 115 30th Ave. E., Bradenton, and expects to open during summer 2014.

"We continue to grow and expand in the state of Florida, and we're opening a distribution center in Lakeland in the first part of 2014," said Mark Merz, spokesman for O'Reilly. "This particular store will be serviced out of that distribution center."

A final site plan for the store is being reviewed by Manatee County through its administrative approval process.

The chain was started in 1957 with a lone store in Springfield, and has expanded to more than 4,000 locations in 42 states. It remains family owned with David O'Reilly as the chairman of the board.

O'Reilly already has about 100 stores in Florida.

"We service both retail customers like you and I who might work on our cars

on the weekends and professional service providers who work on cars for other people," Merz said.

That model allows for O'Reilly to hire more knowledgeable employees to help customers in both sectors.

The Bradenton store will be considered a hub store, which is typically larger than other stores to carry more inventory to help provide inventory to nearby stores, Merz said. According to plans filed with Manatee County, the store will be about 10,000 square feet. O'Reilly also has plans to construct an 8,400-square-foot store in Sarasota at 1290 N. Washington Blvd.

"It will act as a warehouse for stores that surround it," Merz said. Once the distribution center is open, the chain will look for continued growth throughout the state, he added.

Hiring will typically begin a month before the store will open, and it's likely a store manager is being trained for the Bradenton location from another store.

"We're very much a promote-within company," Merz said.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.

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