one place the jobber/independent parts store still has beaten the big box retailers at is the heavily competitive market place of the installers. sure, in many places, they have started to make some noise, but overall, the service industry of automotive repair is worlds different than the d.i.y. market place for the most part(there are rare cases of similiarities, but i am dealing with the overall topic at hand).
the big box retailers are all about cash.cash is king; it is how they have become the 800lb monkey's they are; when you have a limited amount of payables, and get the bulk of your business paid for in matter of days, it is a marketer's dream. for the independent repair shops, as well as large companies as well, credit is a way of life. ask any jobber store, collectables are at a all time high with most recievables at over 45 days on the books.it adds up folks, and it takes the precious cash terms the big boys enjoy away. sure, they can and do offer attractive terms on credit cards, issued in their names, but with some one else toting the note, it continues to make business sense, but can they compete when money gets tight for the repair shop? no, its c.o.d. again, and those plain white ford rangers sit parked infront of their buildings.
kinda ironic at the least; all those years of 3-5% kickbacks for paid bills, paid labour claims and no hassle returns from NAPA and others, have spoiled the repair shops; how many repair shops proudly have a AUTOZONE repair shop sign out front? none i am willing to bet, and won't be in any time soon either. the low paid ex-TACOBELL employees working at these so called parts stores, whose turn over rate approaches fast food service records as well, don't have the mechanic/tech mentality to focus or service the wants and needs of the repair industry; we aren't talking about rocket science here, but nor are we talking about the foo-foo retail parts that the repair industry doesn't want or need either.
we'll take one small victory at a time and when the giants have fallen, there will be peace, joy and happiness once again in the automotive parts industry.