Company Snapshot: AutoZone Looks to Brazil
123 S Front St
Memphis, TN 38103-3618
Total Annual Sales:
William C. Rhodes lll- Chairman, President and CEO
William T. Giles- CFO, Executive VP – Finance, Information Technology
AutoZone has long been the industry leader in the fairly, recession-proof retail segment that is the automotive aftermarket. This position may be challenged later this year as Advance Auto Parts announces its first annual financials which will include its acquisition of the General Parts empire.
As with many long-established industry leaders, AutoZone prides itself on an extremely stable and consistent management structure. Bill Rhodes has been President and CEO since 2005 and acceded to the chairmanship in 2007. During his reign the company has increased annual sales each and every year despite the recession and consistently increased total store counts annually as well. The smallest annual increase in store count since the beginning of the recession occurred in the fiscal year ending August 2009, with an increase of a still impressive net 145 additional locations. Of course this was a devastating year for most retailers in the U.S.A.
During August 2012, AutoZone opened its 5,000th retail location in Wasilla, Alaska. Later that year, AutoZone opened its first retail store in Brazil. At the time the company announced plans for 12-15 store openings during its first phase of the company’s entry into Brazil which the company had estimated to last a few years. This, at a time when Brazil’s progressive economy was beginning to be called into question.
Given the company’s stunning growth and profitably throughout this century, the cautious entry into Brazil, based on the small number of openings through an undefined time period, is seen to have a huge potential upside, with a possible downside where total failure would result more in frustration than financial distress.