AutoZone is an American store and is the second-largest retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories in the United States, Founded in 1979, AutoZone has over 5,200 stores across the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. The company is based in Memphis, Tennessee.
By 2000, revenue had increased to $161 million from 17 stores, making G.I. Joe's the 12th largest sporting goods retailer in the United States, and largest in the Pacific Northwest. It was also the 142nd largest retailer overall in the United States by revenue in 2000.
Originally a division of Memphis-based wholesale grocer Malone & Hyde, the company was known as Auto Shack. After the sale of the grocery operation to the Fleming Companies of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the name of the company was changed to AutoZone to reflect the new focus and to settle a lawsuit brought by Tandy Corporation for infringing on Tandy's "Radio Shack" trademark. AutoZone holds the naming rights to the downtown Memphis baseball stadium that is the home of the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. The company also sponsors the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
In 1998, and with a seeming bit of nostalgia for the days when Tandy made computers, RadioShack and Compaq launched ‘The Creative Learning Centre’ as a store-within-a-store to promote desktop PCs. Similar promotions were tried with ‘The Sprint Store at RadioShack’ (mobile telephones) and ‘PowerZone’ (RadioShack's line of battery products).
AutoZone, a company which had been forced to change its name from "Auto Shack" due to a 1982 trademark infringement lawsuit by Radio Shack, claimed there was a "likelihood of confusion" between POWERZONE and AUTOZONE in a lawsuit against Tandy Corporation; the suit was unsuccessful.
On July 4, 1979, the first store opened in Forrest City, Arkansas under the name of Auto Shack. Doc Crain was the store's first manager. Sales that first day totaled $300.00.
In 1981, Express Parts or VDP is implemented to get the customers hard to find parts by special ordering them through wholesalers. Total stores was 73 in 7 states.
In 1984, the company became the first auto parts retailer to create a quality control program for its parts. Total stores was 194 in 13 states.
In 1985, Doc Crain coined the term WITTDTJR, which stands for "What it takes to do the job right." Total store count is 263 in 14 states.