233 South Patterson Ave
O’Reilly Auto Parts is an American auto parts retailer that provides automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment, and accessories in the United States serving both the professional service providers and do-it-yourself customers. Founded in 1957 by the O’Reilly family, the company operates more than 5,000 stores in 47 states.
O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. officially started in the auto parts business with one store in Springfield, Missouri, in December 1957. However, its historical background in the automotive business, as well as the family’s quest for opportunity and advancement, may be traced back to a much earlier time.
Michael Byrne O’Reilly immigrated to America in 1849, escaping from the hard times of the potato famine, which struck Ireland in 1845-46. Settling in St. Louis, he worked his way through school to earn a law degree, and then pursued a career as a title examiner.
His son, Charles Francis O’Reilly, attended college in St. Louis and went to work in 1914 as a traveling salesman for Fred Campbell Auto Supply in St. Louis. By 1924, Charles had become familiar with the Springfield area, having traveled by train to sell auto parts throughout the territory. He recognized the region as an area of growth and opportunity and asked to be transferred there. By 1932, he had become manager of Link Motor Supply in Springfield, and one of his sons, Charles H. (Chub) O’Reilly, joined the company. Together they provided the leadership and management that made Link the predominant auto parts store in the area.
In 1957, Link planned a reorganization, which would have included the retirement of 72-year-old Charles F. O’Reilly, and the transfer of Chub O’Reilly to Kansas City. Since neither agreed with these plans, they made the decision to form their own company, O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. They opened for business on December 2, 1957, with one store and 13 employees at 403 Sherman in Springfield. Their sales totaled $700,000 in 1958, their first full year of business. Due to the hard work and ability of the original employees, several of whom were stockholders in the company, the business grew and prospered from its very first year. By 1961, the company’s volume had reached $1.3 million — the combined volume of O’Reilly Automotive and Ozark Automotive Distributors, a division formed to serve independent automotive jobbers in the area. In March 1975, annual sales volume rose to $7 million and a 52,000 square-foot facility at 233 S. Patterson was built for the O’Reilly/Ozark warehouse operation. By that time, the company had nine stores, all located in southwest Missouri.
On April 23, 1993, the company completed an initial public offering, and it now trades on the NASDAQ market under the symbol ORLY. The company also has a stock purchase plan to enable as many team members as possible to own stock in the company.
On January 30, 1998, O’Reilly merged with Hi/LO Auto Supply, adding 182 auto parts stores in Texas and Louisiana, as well as a distribution center in Houston, Texas. The Hi/LO acquisition made O’Reilly one of the top 10 auto parts chains in the country. On April 25, 2000, the firm announced the purchase of KarPro Auto Parts, which included a 66,000 square foot distribution center in Little Rock, Arkansas, and 14 KarPro stores.
On October 1, 2001, O’Reilly purchased Mid-State Automotive Distributors, Inc., adding 82 additional auto parts stores in seven states, as well as two distribution centers. The acquisition made the firm one of the top five auto parts chains in the country. It added its eleventh distribution center in Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2005.
On May 31, 2005, O’Reilly purchased Midwest Automotive Distributors, Inc., adding 72 retail locations in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, as well as two distribution centers located in Minnesota and Montana.
On July 11, 2008, the company completed the largest acquisition in its history with the purchase of CSK Auto, adding 1,273 stores in 12 states. This, combined with past acquisitions, made O’Reilly the third largest auto parts chain in the country after Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone.
In December 2012, O’Reilly announced it was purchasing the auto parts business of VIP Parts, Tires and Service, a Lewiston, Maine-based chain of 56 auto parts stores and service centers with locations in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, and one distribution center in Maine. The purchase marked the firm’s expansion into New England.
On October 26, 2016, O'Reilly announced that it was acquiring Bond Auto Parts, a 51 store chain headquartered in Vermont with locations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York as well.
O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. currently operates more than 4,950 stores in 47 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. The company continues to plan for growth and expansion, projecting the addition of 195 new locations in 2017.
Executive officers of the company include David O’Reilly, Chairman of the Board; Greg Henslee, Chief Executive Officer; Jeff Shaw, Co-President; Greg Johnson, Co-President; and Tom McFall, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.