by Larry Austin
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new business driven by service.
A dozen members of the chamber and town government were on hand Tuesday as Advance Auto Parts ceremonially opened shop with a ribbon-cutting at 2166 Grand Island Blvd. The new store will take up 7,700 square feet of space in the Tops Plaza.
Kyle Weidman, district leader for Advance Auto Parts, said Advance Auto Parts is the largest aftermarket automotive retailer in the United States following its recent purchase of Carquest, and the company is growing both its wholesale and retail sales.
Grand Island is part of the company's sales growth that is fueled by customer service.
"Our tag line is 'Service is Our Best Part,' and we hang our hats on service, whether it's inside the store, on the phone, or when we deliver a part," said Weidman.
Patrick Lewis, general manager of the GI location, said Advance Auto Parts is "customer-focused and driven" to serving its retail customers.
"We're here to serve our customers better than anybody else while offering free services to help the customer get their projects done, and maybe help them do the things they can't do," Lewis said.
"We're a company that serves our wholesale customers also, which is garages," said Weidman, adding that Advance Auto Parts chose to set up shop on the Island "because it was a market that was untapped, and I saw a lot of potential."
"I wanted to put a store here to help the customers," Weidman said. "I know that these customers were underserved and hopefully we can provide that great service to them."
Lewis said the store will hire 13 to 15 employees. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.