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Advance Auto Parts taps The Richards Group and 360i

By Published on .

An employee sweeps the parking lot outside an Advanced Auto Parts Inc. store in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, U.S., on Monday, May 22, 2017.
An employee sweeps the parking lot outside an Advanced Auto Parts Inc. store in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, U.S., on Monday, May 22, 2017. Credit: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Advance Auto Parts has hired The Richards Group for brand and creative work and 360i for media and analytics following a review of its agency relationships.

Advance Auto Parts declined to comment. The Richards Group, a Dallas-based independent agency, and Dentsu Aegis Network-owned agency 360i deferred comment to the client.

The marketer previously worked with indie agency Crossmedia for its media following a review last summer. Crossmedia declined to participate in the pitch. Lapiz announced it was named the creative agency of record for Advance Auto Parts' general market business in December 2016 after managing the retailer's Hispanic market work since 2014. Lapiz no longer works with the marketer.

The Roanoke, Virginia-based automotive aftermarket parts provider said in its fourth quarter earnings call in February it was "far from happy" with its sales outcome, with total revenue down 2.2 percent and comparative sales down 2.6 percent in its fourth quarter. But the company was optimistic about 2018.

"In terms of sales, we absolutely believe 2018 is going to be a stronger year for the industry and for Advance," president and CEO Tom Greco said on the earnings call, adding that dynamics like a cold winter, GDP and miles driven were positive from an industry standpoint.

Greco added that the company is working to make the "omnichannel experience better." He said over half the time, people start to search for auto parts on a mobile device, "so we've just got to be out in front of that. And you're going to continue to see us make investments in technology and the omnichannel experience to drive that and that helped our DIY business."

As of late last year, the company operated 5,054 stores and 129 Worldpac branches and employed approximately 71,000 across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to its website. The company also serves 1,218 independently owned Carquest branded stores.

Advance Auto Parts Inc. spent $29.1 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2017, according to Kantar Media.

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