NAPA Auto Parts offers “know how” and experience
By JOHN RISHEL
MILL HALL — The NAPA Auto Parts store at 137 Hogan Blvd., Mill Hall, just past the Millbrook Plaza offers “know how” and experience.
The Mill Hall NAPA location is owned by Brian Toner, who bought the store last January. Toner started with the company in February of 1991, but the store has been there since “back in the 1960’s I think, that is beyond me,” Toner said.
More than 85 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name.
NAPA specialties in auto parts, exterior accessories, interior accessories, ATV, exhaust pipes, farm & agriculture, heavy duty, hydraulic hoses, lawn & garden, marine and recreational vehicles.
They sell anything from Wix filters to FelPro gaskets, Walker exhausts to Dana brand chassis and United brake parts. Toner reports that NAPA has been selling a lot of brake rotors, pads, and calipers.
Toner said that when he bought the store the company had an inventory of auto parts worth approximately $300,000, and they “have more than doubled the inventory since then,” now boasting an inventory selection worth nearly $700,000.
Toner also explained that customers can order online and have the part shipped to the store. They offer a “Online Reserve” service to their in-stock inventory, where if an order is placed, the NAPA staff will “pull it and put a slip on it so nobody sells it.”
The Mill Hall NAPA store can be found online at napaonline.com/en/pa/mill-hall/store/27119.
“If it happens to be something we don’t have, the warehouse in Altoona probably does. There is a daily afternoon shuttle to bring those parts in as needed,” Toner said.
Toner noted that NAPA currently employees approximately 10 employees, and are looking to bring in two additional delivery drivers.
“Aside from the auto parts, I think the experience of our staff is what stands out. Between Ed, Scott and I, we have over 70 years of automotive experience. The three of us have done ground up restorations and rebuilds on older models, and I think having that background really helps to sell those parts,” he said. “That is something we have against our competition. Some of these stores are employing young kids that if you can’t find it on the computer and they don’t know exactly what the part is called…they might get kind of lost. We have a friendly staff, I am kind of picky with my employees as far as how polite they are. Everyone has been here close to 20 years. It really makes a difference when you have the exact same crew and you know everybody’s capabilities.”
For month of March, AAA customers get “double off.” Toner explained, “Registered AAA members typically get 10 percent off of their orders at the register. In March, those customers will get 20 percent off. They have to show their membership card, and unfortunately there are some exclusions.”
They also offer a military discount program that was started by Toner last January. He noted that he hopes that NAPA gets on board and starts offering a military discount at all stores.
Toner said that NAPA has a loyalty rewards program that gives customers a reimbursement after they spend a certain dollar amount which leads to “lots of returning, loyal customers.”
Toner also said that NAPA is “putting a lot into” their 2020 NAPA EXPO event in Las Vegas.
“Customers can potentially earn back a free trip to Las Vegas by purchasing our auto parts. It is possible it wouldn’t cost anything to them,” he said.
With help from industry experts and the best suppliers and manufacturers, the 2020 NAPA EXPO will provide the innovations and answers customers need to charge forward in the future, he said.
As part of this package, guests have the option to stay at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas, Wynn, or Encore Las Vegas, each a luxury hotel in their own right.
For more information on the Expo, which takes place April 6-9, 2020, visit napaexpo.com.
The NAPA Auto Parts store in Mill Hall is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sunday 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
NAPA Auto Parts
137 Hogan Blvd,
Mill Hall, Pa. 17751