Our History & Timeline

AutoZone has come a long way since 1979. What began as a single store in Forrest City, Arkansas, has become the leading retailer of automotive replacement parts in the United States. Since its founding, AutoZone has never stopped evolving, and neither have our customers.

Steered by a commitment to WOW! Customer Service and driven by our Pledge and Values, AutoZone has adapted alongside rapidly changing technologies, expanded into new markets, and spread our reach to more than 6,700 (and counting) stores in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil.

Explore the timeline below to see the progression of over 40 years of growth and innovation. Click a specific year and jump ahead to that moment in AutoZone history.

  • 1979

    1979

    As a division of Malone & Hyde, Inc., the first Auto Shack store opened in Forrest City, Arkansas, on July 4, 1979.

  • 1981

    Auto Shack opened Express Parts Service in Memphis, Tennessee. The warehouse allowed customers to order thousands of “hard-to-find” parts not available in our stores.

  • 1984

    Auto Shack is believed to be the first auto parts retailer to use a quality control program for its parts.

  • 1985

    1985

    Doc Crain, Auto Shack’s first store manager, coined the term WITTDTJR® (What It Takes To Do The Job Right), which means AutoZoners should offer everything needed to do the job right – nothing more and nothing less.

  • 1986

    1986

    Store Manager Darren Reltherford received the first Extra Miler award. Today, AutoZoners around the company earn Extra Miler awards for going above expectations.

    Auto Shack introduced the Duralast® brand, which included a line of starters and alternators available exclusively at AutoZone.

    1986

    Lynda Ireland wrote the Company Pledge. Click here to learn more about the AutoZone Pledge and our culture.

    The Loan-A-Tool® program is launched to help customers who need specialty tools to do the job right the first time.

  • 1987

    1987

    Auto Shack announced plans to change the Company name to AutoZone.

     

    AutoZone introduced the first electronic catalog in the auto part retail industry, which allowed AutoZoners to look up parts, warranties, and check inventory in nearby AutoZone stores.

  • 1991

    1991

    AutoZone's stock, ticker symbol: AZO, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

     

    AutoZone is the first auto parts retailer to register warranties in a computer database.

  • 1995

    Duralast® and Duralast® Gold batteries are introduced and available exclusively at AutoZone.

  • 1996

     

    AutoZone.com is introduced.

     

    AutoZone tested its first Commercial program in Germantown, Tennessee.

    1996

    AutoZone acquired ALLDATA®, the leading provider of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive repair information and solutions.

  • 1998

    AutoZone opened its first international store in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

  • 1999

    AutoZone debuted on the Fortune 500 list.

  • 2000

    DataZone opened Chihuahua, Mexico.

  • 2002

    AutoZone introduced Hub stores to provide customers with more access to the parts and products they need in less time.

  • 2003

    2003

    AutoZone introduced the Duralast® tool line.

  • 2004

    2004

    J.R. “Pitt” Hyde was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame for his innovations in auto part sales and service. Hyde was the first aftermarket retailer to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

  • 2005

    2005

    AutoZone announced William C. Rhodes III as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In 2007, Mr. Rhodes added Chairman to his title.

     

    AutoZone opened its first store in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

  • 2006

    AutoZone partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to create an innovative, in-store, point-of-sale campaign, now recognized across many companies as the Thanks and Giving® campaign.
  • 2008

    2008

    Z-net® is launched in AutoZone stores to provide one-click repair guide information, product images, specifications, troubleshooting and more!

  • 2010

    2010

    AutoZone smartphone apps launched. Click here to learn more about and download the app for your phone today.

  • 2011

    AutoZone's Commercial program reached $1 billion in sales.

    Facebook logoTwitter logoYoutube logo

    AutoZone launched Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

  • 2012

    Image of the first AutoZone store in Sorocaba, Brazil

    AutoZone opened its first store in South America in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

     

    AutoZone opened the E-Commerce Fulfillment Center in Memphis, Tennessee to process and ship select Vendor Direct Part (VDP) orders to customers who order online as well as U.S.-based AutoZone stores.

    ALLDATA® Training Garage, online training resource for shop staff of all levels, from tech to owner to service writer, is launched.

  • 2014

    ALLDATA® Tech-Assist, which provides phone-based diagnostic support from a team of ASE Certified Master Technicians, is launched.

    AutoZone introduced MegaHubs to increase local market availability of hard-to-find and fast-moving parts for our Retail and Commercial customers.

  • 2015

    Image of the second AutoZone store in Hawaii

    AutoZone launches Duralast® ProPower - the Commercial version of the popular DIY brands.

  • 2017

     

    ALLDATA® Mexico brings ALLDATA®'s market leadership to the Mexican market.

     

    ALLDATA® added ALLDATA® Diagnostics and ALLDATA® Collision Advantage to its world-class suite of software and tools for professional automotive technicians.

     

    St. Jude Children’s Hospital presented AutoZone with their 2017 Corporate Partner of the Year award.

  • 2018

    AutoZone announced a Next Day Delivery program. Customers who place orders by 10 p.m. can have them delivered to their doorstep the very next day.

  • 2019

    AutoZone opened its first store on the island of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

    St. Jude Children’s Hospital presented AutoZone with their 2019 Corporate Partner of the Year award.

  • 2020

    AutoZone recognized with The Seven Seals Award promoting Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve (ESGR) mission across the Nation.

    Military Times awarded AutoZone with their 2020 “Best for Vets” employer award

    ALLDATA® Launched ALLDATA Shop Manager

  • 2021

    AutoZone received national recognition as a wonderful place to work and enjoy a rewarding career.

              • Forbes 2021 World’s Best Employers: AutoZone is
              ranked 39th out of 750 employers worldwide!

              • Military Times awarded AutoZone their 2021
              “Best for Vets” employer award

    AutoZone opened the Peter R. Formanek Store Support Center in Memphis, TN.

  • 2022

    AutoZone provided many resources and contributed $5 million in seed funding to launch the National Civil Rights Museum Corporate Equity Center.