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Our History and Timeline

The AutoZone Story

AutoZone's history started with the vision of one man: J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III. After receiving his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of North Carolina, he joined Malone & Hyde, Inc., a wholesale food company founded by his grandfather. Pitt initiated and developed Malone & Hyde's specialty retailing division, beginning with drug stores and expanding to include sporting goods stores and supermarkets.

Pitt saw a need for a retail automotive parts store to help people with the upkeep of their vehicles so he created Auto Shack. He believed that the characteristics found in supermarkets - clean, well-organized store, accessible products and great customer service - could be applied to the automotive parts business. In 1979, his vision became a reality.

On July 4, 1979, Auto Shack opened its first store in Forrest City, Arkansas. Doc Crain was the first Auto Shack store manager and sales that day totaled about $300. In 1986, Auto Shack was spun off as a freestanding company of which Pitt served as Chairman and CEO.

Today, Auto Shack is AutoZone - a Fortune 500 company and the leading auto parts retailer in the United States with more than $8.1 billion in annual sales.

AutoZone continues to fuel growth by exploring new businesses and entering new markets. In 1996, AutoZone launched a commercial program offering credit and delivery to professional technicians. Later, with the purchase of ALLDATA, AutoZone acquired the nation's leading provider of electronic automotive diagnostic and repair software. In 1998, AutoZone expanded its presence outside the U.S. borders to Mexico, opening our first AutoZone de Mexico store in December 1998.

AutoZone has come a long way. Today, AutoZone serves customers in 48 states, Mexico and Puerto Rico and employs more than 65,000 employees, referred to as AutoZoners. One of the constant, core foundations to our success has been our strong culture of customer satisfaction. Our Pledge is:

"AutoZoners always put customers first!
We know our parts and products.
Our stores look great!
We've got the best merchandise at the right price."

AutoZoners do more than simply recite the pledge; they live it every day.

Our goal is to provide our customers with Trustworthy Advice and real solutions ensuring the customer has What It Takes To Do The Job Right, or better known to AutoZoners as WITTDTJR®.

We are a diverse, rapidly growing company, and there is one key ingredient that keeps AutoZone on the leading edge of the auto parts industry, it's simply providing WOW! Customer Service. No matter where the business takes us in the future, customer satisfaction will remain our number one priority.

Learn more about AutoZone's historical timeline here.

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