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[ NAPA AUTO PARTS - APS, LLC ] Local stores rise to the challenge of a changing landscape RESILIENCY AND ADAPTABILITY are the cornerstones of any business hoping to thrive in an ever-changing landscape. That’s why the locally-owned chain of NAPA Auto Parts stores has done so well. They readily recognize and respond to the shifting needs of the marketplace. For years, not much change was necessary. I.B. Thames Jr. founded his NAPA business in 1971 with a single store in Lutcher, then added two stores in Alexandria and Reserve. Later, sons Timmy and Tracy ran the business, laying a foundation for future growth. In the early 2000s, however, it became

1970

obvious that the company needed to evolve in order to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive environment. Isra Thames IV, I.B.’s grandson, began guiding the company through a period of expansions in services, facilities and employees across southeast Louisiana and Baton Rouge. Now approaching its 50-year anniversary, the Thames Group is 14 stores and 100 employees strong, and poised to continue its growth trajectory through a mix of retail and commercial contracts. Thames, now president, expects to add five additional stores in the next five years.

He also plans to enhance Internet-based services and focus more on the retail side of the business by increasing hours of operation and renovating storefronts. Still, the local NAPA chain’s “bread and butter” is its contract clients. The local stores have a fleet of some 50 vehicles delivering automotive supplies to state and local governments and a variety of commercial clients, from the small “mom and pops” to national chains. Its commercial delivery fleet runs from New Orleans to Alexandria, and they ship parts anywhere in the U.S. “We’ve successfully maintained several

1980

contracts with major companies, largely due to our negotiated, competitive pricing and customer service,” Thames says. “We also offer a quality product, exceptional customer service and a local presence.” Of course, a company’s employees provide the foundation for good customer service, so local NAPA workers are regularly trained at the Baton Rouge Automotive Technical College. “Each employee goes through 50 hours of training every year,” Thames says. That work ethic has earned the admiration of Kevin Herron, president of U.S. Automotive Parts Group in Atlanta,

1990 1978 Expansion begins in Louisiana with a store in Reserve, La. in 1978 and another in Alexandria in 1980.

1971 I.B. Thames Jr. opens the first NAPA store in Lutcher, La.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2020 | AnnualReportBR.com

1994 Business is booming and I.B. Thames Jr. retires. Timmy and Tracy Thames begin managing the company.

Profile for Baton Rouge Business Report

Baton Rouge Business Report's 2020 Annual Report  

Read about the successes of Capital Region companies in this special advertising publication from Baton Rouge Business Report.

Baton Rouge Business Report's 2020 Annual Report  

Read about the successes of Capital Region companies in this special advertising publication from Baton Rouge Business Report.

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