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AutoZone is built on customer service, spirit and pride. We have a rich history and culture that's both friendly and casual. But our ultimate goal is to exceed our customers' expectations.
AutoZone's history is a rich one, marked by many milestones - new name, new store designs, new products, new opportunities and new countries.The next 20 years promise even more. The highlights of our history begin in the timeline below.
1979 - We opened our very first Auto Shack in Forrest City, AR. Doc Crain was the first store manager. Today, we have more than 3,400 AutoZone stores nationwide.
1984 - We became the first auto parts retailer to create a quality control program for its parts. We still pride ourselves in offering quality parts and products to our customers.
1985 - Doc Crain coined the term WITTDTJR, which stands for "What it takes to do the job right." The term reflects our commitment to giving customers the parts and service they need to do the job right the first time.
1986 - We gave our first Extra Miler Award to Memphis Mgr. Darren Reltherford. Today, we still recognize AutoZone employees (we call them "AutoZoners") who go the extra mile for their customers. It's our way of promoting good customer service and recognizing our greatest asset - our people.
1987 - We changed our name from Auto Shack to AutoZone. We also introduced WITT-JR, the first electronic catalog in our industry. We still use WITT-JR to look up parts for your vehicle and keep up with your warranty information. This helps us provide better, quicker customer service to you.
1989 - We started using our Store Management System (SMS) to help keep our stores stocked with the parts you need.
1991 - Our stock, AZO, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. We also became the first auto parts retailer to register customer warranties in a computer database. We're still the only auto parts retailer that offers this service.
1994 - We began using a satellite system to broadcast information from store to store. Using our satellite system, stores can put parts on hold at other neighboring AutoZone stores, so our customers can get the parts they need today.
1995 - We opened our 1,000th store on Bardstown road in Louisville, KY. Also, we introduce our new Duralast and Duralast Gold batteries. Today, Duralast batteries are the best-selling automotive batteries in America.
1996 - We debut our brand-new website, www.autozone.com , and our new commercial program in Germantown, TN. We also acquired ALLDATA, a software company that provides automotive diagnostic and repair information.
1998 - We experienced unprecedented growth by acquiring nearly 800 stores from other auto parts retailers. We later converted many of these stores into AutoZone stores. We also opened our first store outside the United States in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
1999 - We made the Fortune 500 list for the first time. We've improved our ranking on the list each year since our debut.
2001 - Steve Odland becomes AutoZone's 3rd CEO and announces the 40-headed CEO team. Combined, they plan our 5-year strategy and release AutoZone's Vision & Values. Vision: "Relentlessly creating the most exciting Zone for vehicle solutions!" AutoZone's value statements: Integrity, Respect, Teamwork, Communication, Innovation, Initiative, Accountability, Thriftiness, Leadership, Excellence.
2002 - AutoZoners develop a network of "hub, feeder and satellite" stores to get product to the customer faster, to eliminate lost sales and to have more product in the market area while reducing inventory investment.
2003 - AutoZone introduces Duralast Tool line to include 120 SKUs, including ratchets, pliers, wrenches, sockets & screwdrivers.
AutoZone partners with CarMax to have AutoZone stores inside 7 of their 45 CarMax
Two leaders in the automotive industry - AutoZone the leader in aftermarket auto parts and Midas the leader in automotive repair - establishes a partnership where AutoZone distributes to all US Midas locations.
2004 - AutoZone announces sponsorship of the 2004-2005 NASCAR Elite Division.
AutoZone celebrates its 25th anniversary of WOW! Customer Service.
Founder Pitt Hyde was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame on October 5, 2004. Pitt set a precedent as the first aftermarket retailer in the Automotive Hall of Fame.
2005 - William C. Rhodes III named President and CEO March 13, 2005.