Uni-Select Northwest, of Auburn, Wash., has consolidated its two Parts Plus retail stores in Spokane into one location, at 125 S. Cowley, and has closed its warehouse here.
The company vacated its leased retail spaces at 805 E. Francis and 126 S. Sheridan last month, says Jessie Wisemore, manager of the Spokane operation.
Also last month, it moved its inventory from a 34,000-square-foot building that it had leased at the Sheridan site east of downtown to another Uni-Select-owned Parts Plus warehouse in Auburn, he says.
Our shipping got so efficient that we didnt need the (warehouse) here, Wisemore says.
Eight warehouse jobs were eliminated here in the change, he says.
Wisemore says that since the new consolidated retail store opened last month, its sales have been stronger than those of the previous two stores combined. Uni-Select consolidated the stores because it has a policy to keep its stores no fewer than 20 minutes apart, he says.
Between the downtown store and the North Spokane store, it was a 15-minute drive, Wisemore says. In a bigger city, that same distance could take an hour and a half.
Uni-Selects Spokane operation will continue to arrange distribution of auto parts to about 125 auto shops in the Inland Northwest, Wisemore says.
Uni-Selects retail store sells mainly under-car parts, such as brakes and axles, to auto shops and to individuals who do repair work on their own or other peoples cars.
Parts Plus is a Memphis, Tenn.-based auto-parts wholesale, retail, and distribution franchiser.
In January, Uni-Select Northwest bought Seattle-based Mar-Lac Distributing Co., which had operated the Spokane Parts Plus stores and warehouse, and about nine Parts Plus retail stores in the Seattle area. Uni-Select Northwests parent company, Uni-Select Inc., is based in Quebec.
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