Little Rock's Replacement Parts Inc. Bumping Century Mark

by George Waldon  on Monday, May. 26, 2014 12:00 am  

“It’s very much a relationship business,” Schlatterer said. “About half of our customers are professional installers, and the other half is end-use consumers.

“Among our staff, we have a number of people who’ve decided to spend a significant amount of their lives with us, and we appreciate it.”

Schlatterer started work with the company 41 years ago as a driver and rose through the ranks. He was promoted from executive vice president and chief operations officer to president and CEO last year.

“We’re a God, country and family kind of business,” Schlatterer said. “If you like that, we’re the place for you.”

The business is closed on Sunday. Store hours Monday through Friday are typically 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with an early closing on Saturdays. The company isn’t interested in extending its hours to chase more sales and conform to such competitive retail practices.

“We are conservative with a good cash flow and moderate profitability,” Schlatterer said. “We have made a living doing what we do well without trying to be everything to everyone.”

Corporate Highlights of Replacement Parts Inc.
(Holding Company of Crow-Burlingame Co. and Parts Warehouse Inc.)

The Little Rock company owns 155 auto parts stores and four warehouses in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Mississippi and provides parts for 125 independently owned Bumper to Bumper stores in eight states.

1919: Crow-Burlingame Co. is launched in Little Rock as an auto accessories and garage equipment business by William Robert Crow and J.G. Burlingame.

1928: An El Dorado store is opened, marking the start of a chain of retail auto parts locations developed over the years.

1932: Osburn Crow & Yantis Co., the largest auto parts buying group in the nation at the time, is formed. The venture represents Crow-Burlingame, Osburn Abston Co. of Memphis and The Automotive Inc. of Fort Smith.

1939: Fletcher Lord, son-in-law of Robert Crow, joins the company. The census of U.S. automotive wholesale firms is 6,982.



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