Our History and Timeline

The AutoZone Story

AutoZone's history starts with a wholesale food company called Malone & Hyde, Inc. The CEO and grandson of the company's founder, J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III, initiated and developed Malone & Hyde's specialty retailing division, beginning with drug stores and expanding to include sporting goods stores and supermarkets.

Pitt and some of Malone & Hyde's top leadership identified a need for a chain of automotive parts stores to help people maintain their vehicles, and from that idea, Auto Shack was born. The belief was that the characteristics found in supermarkets - clean, well-organized stores, accessible products and great customer service - could be applied to the automotive retail parts business. In 1979, that vision became a reality.

On July 4, 1979, Auto Shack opened its first store in Forrest City, Arkansas about 40 miles west of Memphis, Tennessee where AutoZone is headquartered today. 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 Hyde served as Chairman and CEO.

Auto Shack was rebranded AutoZone in 1987, and today AutoZone is the leading retailer and a leading distributor of auto parts and accessories in the United States.

AutoZone continues to fuel growth by exploring new opportunities and entering new markets. In 1996, AutoZone launched a Commercial program offering credit and delivery to professional installers. Later that year AutoZone purchased ALLDATA, 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 the first AutoZone de Mexico store. In 2012, the company opened its first AutoZone do Brazil store in the city of Sorocaba, west of Sao Paulo.

Yes, AutoZone has come a long way with a commitment to providing WOW! Customer Service, in our stores, which are, located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil, to our Commercial customers, online customers and to our ALLDATA customers. We are able to maintain our focus on Customer Satisfaction through our strong culture and at the heart of that culture, our Pledge:

"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. 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 - Customer Satisfaction, and no matter where business takes us in the future, it will remain our number one priority.

Learn more about AutoZone's historical timeline here.

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