Retailer Pep Boys has stopped selling auto parts and related items at its Richmond-area stores to focus on tire repairs and sales.
The chain has closed the retail part in four of its five stores in the region, but still operates the service centers, often attached to the back or to the side of its buildings. The fifth location, on Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County, has always been a service center only.
The retail portion of the four stores closed earlier this month, employees at those stores said. Signs at two stores in the area also say the retail stores have closed.
Company spokeswoman Arianna Sherlock confirmed that retail stores are closed and focused on providing automotive services, including maintenance and repair for individual customers and the rapidly growing fleet business of the region.
While these locations “will no longer be selling parts and accessories at retail as Pep Boys, they will convert to another retailer, bringing a new level of convenience to our customers,” Sherlock said.
She did not say which retailer would take over the space in local stores.
In March, the company announced that it had signed an agreement with Advance Auto Parts for that chain to lease retail space from 109 Pep Boys locations in California. Sherlock said Advance Auto Parts was also leasing Pep Boys’ former retail space in other locations across the country.