Auto-parts stores vs. Amazon

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When the New York Post reported in January 2017 that Amazon signed contracts with several major automobile-parts manufacturers, one had to wonder whether Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto Parts and others were destined to meet the same plight that brick-and-mortar retailers in other segments face—a substantial loss of sales, store closings or bankruptcy.

“Large-scale parts retailers actually should be fine,” says Morningstar equity analyst Zain Akbari, given the “significant barriers” that exist to disrupting these retailers’ business. Such barriers include the importance to customers of the guidance that’s provided by the trained personnel at the brick-and-mortar retailers and of the immediate availability of their parts versus those that are provided via next-day delivery.