Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
February 26, 2024
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry

We checked in with AutoZone and O’Reilly – two pandemic winners from the auto parts industry – to understand what location intelligence reveals about the retailers in 2024. 

AutoZone & O’Reilly Auto Parts Maintaining Their Gains

AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts are both major players in the multi-billion dollar automotive aftermarket industry with thousands of locations across the country. As car prices skyrocketed over the pandemic, visits to these retailers increased – and analyzing foot traffic patterns to these retailers reveals that although growth in the sector may be slowing down, leading auto parts chains are holding on to their pandemic gains. 

On a year-over-year (YoY) basis, visits to AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts continued growing in the first half of 2023 before stalling in Q3 2023 and dipping in Q4. But looking at year-over-four-year (Yo4Y) visits suggests that the drop may be due to the challenging comparison to an unusually strong period rather than to any drop in demand for auto parts. Last year’s visits to both AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts were significantly higher than the chains’ 2019 baseline, with Q4 2023 visits exceeding Q4 2019 levels by 11.9% and 22.6% for AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts, respectively.

A Promising Start to 2024 

The pattern continued in January 2024, with visits to AutoZone and O’Reilly significantly higher than they were pre-pandemic, but slightly lower on a YoY basis. But the Q4 2023 YoY visit gaps narrowed for both chains, and used cars are still outselling new vehicle and fueling demand for car parts – so visits to the space are likely to remain strong in 2024. 

What’s Under The Hood? 

Analyzing the demographic data of visitors to O’Reilly Auto Parts and AutoZone reveals that both companies succeeded in staying far ahead of their pre-pandemic visit baseline despite attracting a large number of visitors from lower-income households. In 2023, the median household income (HHI) within the two chains’ potential market* trade area was lower than the nationwide median of $69.5K/year, while the median HHI in the captured market trade area was even lower. 

The income level of AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts’ visitor base may help explain the chains’ Yo4Y strength and the YoY lags. With prices for used cars still significantly higher than they were in 2019, budget-conscious consumers are likely looking to patch up their existing rides instead of trading them in for newer vehicles – which could explain the sustained Yo4Y growth. At the same time, the ongoing inflation is likely straining this segment’s available funds, which may account for the YoY dips towards the end of 2023.

*A chain’s potential market refers to the population residing in a given trade area, weighted to reflect the number of households in each Census Block Group (CBG) comprising the trade area. A chain’s captured market weighs each CBG according to the actual number of visits originating to the chain from that CBG.  

Country Roads vs. City Highways 

When focusing on the trade area median HHI, the visitor base of AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts looks nearly identical. But looking at the psychographic makeup of the two brands’ trade areas highlights differences between the companies. Using the Experian: Mosaic dataset to analyze the audience segments in the chains’ trade areas revealed that AutoZone tended to attract more city-based visitors, while O’Reilly seems to draw more small-town and rural households. Data from the Spatial.ai: PersonaLive’s dataset supports this pattern – and the success of both chains indicates that there is plenty of demand for car parts across a variety of audience types.

Cruise Control: Car Part Customer Chronicles

As both companies continue to expand, location intelligence indicates that there is plenty of demand for car parts to go around. 

For more data-driven retail analysis, visit placer.ai/blog.

This blog includes data from Placer.ai Data Version 2.0, which implements improvements to our extrapolation capabilities, adds short visit monitoring, and enhances visit detection.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
AutoZone
Text Link
O’Reilly Auto Parts
Text Link
Automotive
Limited Time Offers: Price Wars Boost Visits
Placer 100 Index for Retail & Dining: June 2024 Recap
Placer.ai Mall Index: June 2024 Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: June 2024 Recap
Inside Out 2: The New Blockbuster Bringing Crowds Back to Theaters
Petco and PetSmart: A Head to Head
Frozen Delights: Exploring Ice Cream Chains Across America
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – June 2024
Barnes & Noble: Writing a New Story
Small Format Stores - Sprouting, Blooming, and Expanding
Retail and Dining on Father’s Day
Thrift Store Visit Scores
Charting Value Grocery’s Visit Growth
Placer 100 Index for Retail & Dining: Introduction and May 2024 Recap
Digging Into Darden: Q2 2024 Update
2024 Retail and Dining Trends Update
TRU and avid: Midscale Hotels on the Rise 
Diving Into Kroger: A Strong Start to 2024
Placer.ai Mall Index: May 2024 Recap – Mall Visits on the Rebound
Placer.ai Office Index: May 2024 Recap
2024 Memorial Day Recap
Las Vegas: A Tourism and Migration Deep Dive
Eatertainment Chains: Full on Food, Fun, and Foot Traffic
The Promise of Luxury Apparel
Catching Up With Ulta Beauty & Gap Brands
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves
CAVA Still Going Strong
Driving Success: Auto Parts Chains in 2024
Checking in With DICK’S Sporting Goods
Mother’s Day Shopping and Dining Trends
Placer.ai Mall Index: April 2024 Recap – Retail Resilience Heading into Spring
Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum
Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance
Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs Continue to Thrive
Home Improvement and Decor Check In
Placer.ai Office Index: April 2024 Recap – Recovery Continues
Movie Theaters in Q1 2024: A Preview of Coming Attractions?
Let’s Get Physical: Fitness In 2024
Where Are Workers Returning to Office in 2024?
2024 Wins: Sweetgreen & First Watch on the Rise
A Full-Service Turnaround: Bloomin’, Dine, and Texas Roadhouse
Wendy’s and Denny’s: Breakfast and Late Night Dining Drives Success
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth
Placer.ai Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again
Placer.ai Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024?
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy
Placer.ai Mall Index: February 2024
Placer.ai Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap