AutoZone was founded in 1979 as Auto Shack by J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III - AutoZone's first Chairman and CEO. AutoZone's rich history is all about growth and continuing to provide WOW! Customer Service wherever we are. The highlights of our history begin in the timeline below. Click a year in the box below to go directly to a year on the timeline.
1979 - As a division of Malone & Hyde, the first Auto Shack store opens in Forrest City, Arkansas on July 4, 1979.
1981 - Auto Shack opened an Express Parts Service warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee allowing customers to order thousands of "hard-to-find" parts not stocked in our stores. Today, this is known as our Vendor Direct Parts (VDP).
1983 - Auto Shack opens its 100th store in Weslaco, Texas.
1984 - Auto Shack is the first auto parts retailer to use a quality control program for its parts.
1985 - Auto Shack's first store manager, Doc Crain coins the term WITTDTJR® -which stands for "What It Takes To Do The Job Right." This is all part of AutoZone's commitment to providing customers with the parts and products they need to do the job right the first time.
1986 - Auto Shack was spun off as a freestanding company.
1986 - J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III was Auto Shack's first chairman and CEO.
1986 - The first Extra Miler award is awarded to Memphis manager Darren Reltherford. Today, we still award Extra Milers to our employees (referred to as AutoZoners) who go the extra mile to offer "WOW! Customer Service" to our customers.
1986 - Auto Shack introduced the Duralast brand which included our own line of starters and alternators.
1986 - Auto Shacker Lynda Ireland wrote our company Pledge. Click here to learn more about the AutoZone Pledge and our culture.
1987 - The name Auto Shack changed to AutoZone.
1987 - AutoZone introduced the first electronic catalog in our industry, "WITT-Jr." WITT-Jr has evolved into Z-net® - to include parts lookup, job solutions, advice and information for your vehicle.
1991 - AutoZone's Stock, AZO, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.
1991 - We became the first auto parts retailer to register customer warranties in a computer database.
1995 - We opened our 1000th store in Louisville, Kentucky.
1995 - AutoZone introduces our Duralast and Duralast Gold batteries.
1996 - AutoZone.com launches along with our Commercial program.
1996 - AutoZone acquires ALLDATA, the leading provider of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive repair information and solutions.
1996 - Johnston C. Adams Jr. is announced as AutoZone's second president, and CEO of AutoZone.
1998 - The first AutoZone store outside of the United States opens in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
1999 - AutoZone makes the Fortune 500 list for the first time. We've consistently been on the list since our debut.
2000 - DataZone opens to support our retail and Commercial businesses through a wide range of activities.
2001 - Steve Odland becomes AutoZone's third chairman, president and CEO.
2002 - The Hub store is developed to get product to the customers faster.
2003 - AutoZone introduces the Duralast Tool line with 120 products including ratchets, pliers, wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers.
2004 - AutoZone founder, Pitt Hyde is inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Pitt set a standard as the first aftermarket retailer in the Automotive Hall of Fame.
2004 - AutoZone celebrates our 25th anniversary as a company providing WOW! Customer service to all of our customers.
2005 - William C. Rhodes III is announced as the fourth chairman, president and CEO of AutoZone.
2005 - The first AutoZone store in Puerto Rico opens in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on July 20, 2005.
2007 - The 4000th U.S. AutoZone store opens in Houston, Texas.
2008 - Z-net® is launched in AutoZone stores. Z-net® provides one click repair guide information, product images, specifications and troubleshooting.
2010 - AutoZone launches the iPhone and Android AutoZone Smart phone Apps. Click here to learn more about and download the app for your phone today.
2011 - AutoZone Commercial reaches $1 billion in sales.
2011 - AutoZone launches Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.
2012 - The first AutoZone store opens in Alaska making it the 5,000th store and 49th U.S. state.
2012 - AutoZone enters its second international market, Brazil, opening its first store in Sorocaba, Brazil.
2012 - AutoZone acquires AutoAnything, an online retailer of specialized automotive products.
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