Replacement Parts, Inc. is made up of corporate staff and several different companies who employs over 1,000 employees, in six (6) states, working at approximately 170 locations, all operating in the aftermarket auto parts, paint and heavy duty parts business (“the aftermarket”). After close to 100 years in business, we compete with national companies such as NAPA, Parts Plus, O’Reilly, CarQuest, AutoZone, and other locally owned parts stores in our business areas in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Our Company is a private corporation owned by private stakeholders. For many years, our Company has functioned primarily as a family business. As much as possible, we continue to operate with a family spirit, the success of which can be seen in the many employees who have spent the majority of their working lives with our “Bumper to Bumper” family.
|Replacement Parts Inc||1901 E Roosevelt Road||Little Rock||AR||72206||501-375-1215|
|Crow-Burlingame Company||1901 E Roosevelt Road||Little Rock||AR||72206||501-375-1215|
|Parts Warehouse Inc||1901 E Roosevelt Road||Little Rock||AR||72206||501-372-5555|
|Car Dealer Parts||1901 E Roosevelt Road||Little Rock||AR||72206||501-375-1215|
Crow-Burlingame Company was founded as an Arkansas corporation in June 1919. by W. R. “Bob” Crow and J. G. “Judge” Burlingame. They met traveling on the train as competitive grocery salesmen and became great friends, somewhere around 1908. Several years later, they formed an automobile accessory company, selling the state’s car dealers many of the items that now come as standard equipment. Originally, manufacturers shipped automobiles without bumpers, horns, tops or most common accessories; it was the dealer’s responsibility to equip the cars for the customers. Crow-Burlingame Company took orders statewide by telephone and shipped overnight by train.
Growth and change came quickly. In 1925, the Company moved from Fourth and Center Streets in Little Rock to a larger building at Fourth and Spring Streets. When manufacturers began shipping their cars fully equipped, Crow-Burlingame Company shifted its focus to replacement parts and machine shop operations.
The first branch store opened in El Dorado, Arkansas in 1928 when Crow-Burlingame Company purchased an existing store from Service Parts Company. By 1938, growth of the Little Rock location necessitated a move to Fifth and Arch Streets for additional space. From this point on, the Company grew steadily until there were twenty-one store locations at the outbreak of World War II.
During the prosperous years after the war, expansion was rapid including the opening of nineteen stores in one year, staffed by GI’s returning home from the war. In addition, during this period our employee benefit plan was developed, including the company funded pension/retirement plan.
In 1955, the main store was moved from its location in front of the warehouse to a new location just two blocks away at Seventh & Arch Streets. This branch was our first “model” store and set a pattern that was used for many years.
In 1958, due to government intervention, the company was split in two, forming Parts Warehouse Inc. a Warehouse Distribution Co., along with Crow-Burlingame Co., the store operations company. Most Warehouse Distribution Companies were formed at about the same time for the same reasons.
K. V. Browne – became the first Crow-Burlingame Co. president after Mr. Crow. After moving to Little Rock, he moved up to be the head purchasing agent, and when Parts Warehouse Inc. was formed, he was to be its first President. That all changed when the GM of Crow-Burlingame died unexpectedly and Mr. Browne took his job. He was later promoted to President of the company.
E. Fletcher Lord started as a City Salesman/District Manager – He was later responsible for the purchase, design and construction or lease of many branch store buildings. Served as Vice-President, President when Mr. Browne retired, and then Chairman of the Board.
Copeland Hughes Served as an assistant to Mr. Browne, became President of Parts Warehouse, Inc. when Mr. Browne returned to Crow-Burlingame, Copeland served as PWI President until his retirement. He guided the warehouse to become one of the leading Warehouse Distributor companies in the nation.
Bob Raff Retired from high school teaching and football coaching and joined Parts Warehouse as Sales Manager working with independent Jobber customers. He became President of Parts Warehouse when Copeland Hughes retired. Bob was chairman of AWDA and later honored as the Automotive Leader of the year. He also was responsible for the formation of Alliance Parts Warehouse, after helping with the merger of Bumper to Bumper and Auto Value forming the Alliance.
In the late 60’s, Mr. Crows Grandsons joined the company after collage. Fletcher Lord Jr. and Robert C. Lord joined the company becoming District Managers working with the company stores. Fletcher later became President and Bobby became Sales manager. Today Fletcher is Chairman of the board of Replacement Parts Inc. and Bobby is Executive VP. Fletcher also became Chairman of AWDA and later was also voted the Automotive Leader of the year.
In the mid 70’s, two others joined the company. Bill Schlatterer and Tom Singleton. Bill went to Springfield Mo. and Tom went to Shreveport La. They both returned to Little Rock, Bill becoming President of the company and Tom becoming General Manager of company store operations.
The list of key players could go on and on, but this is just a brief history. None of this could have happened were it not for the great people who have made this company what it is.
More major changes took place in 1981 as the Company purchased its largest independent competitor, 555, Inc. Parts Warehouse, Inc. moved to its present location at 1901 East Roosevelt Road in Little Rock, with modern automated facilities. The same acquisition gave the Company an additional 10 stores and a warehouse operation in Fort Smith.
Replacement Parts, Incorporated (RPI) was formed as a holding company in the late 1980s and brought the Company back together as it had been in its early years. RPI now owns Crow-Burlingame Co., Parts Warehouse, Inc. Car Dealer Parts, CB Reality, and several smaller corporations.
Changing technology and the need for better efficiency opened the door to the computer revolution. By 1992, all of our stores were computerized but the updating process is never-ending.
In January 1994, a chain of stores and two warehouses in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area were purchased. These two warehouses combined to form a major distribution center that currently supplies our stores and many independently owned stores in Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas.
In addition, in 1994, our Company joined the national marketing group known as “Bumper-To-Bumper”. Today this group is one of the largest of its kind in the nation, with members located across the United States Mexico and Canada. The Bumper-To-Bumper group formed The Alliance with other marketing groups in 1998; it now shares memberships using the other trade name Auto Value. Being a voting member of the Bumper-To-Bumper group provides our Company the buying power and marketing programs necessary to compete with other similar groups in our market areas.
In January 1995, our Company purchased 19 Parts Plus stores located in south Arkansas, east Texas and eastern Oklahoma. Two years later in 1997, the General Offices moved from downtown Little Rock to the Parts Warehouse location at 1901 East Roosevelt Road. On June 15, 1999, our Company celebrated eighty (80) years of service. Every store had an open house for their customers that day.
Continuing its growth, in October 2000, the Company purchased 21 stores located in Louisiana and Mississippi plus a warehouse distribution center in Monroe, Louisiana. In January 2001, 13 more stores in Louisiana and Texas and a warehouse distribution center located in Uncertain, Texas were added. This warehouse had been in operation for over 50 years and through the years had acquired various branch stores. A major addition was made to the Monroe distribution center in 2001 and in December the warehouse inventory and service from Uncertain, Texas was transferred to the Monroe location.
After more than 98 years in business, the company operates 171 store operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Parts Warehouse now has three distribution centers: Little Rock, Arkansas; Monroe, Louisiana; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company also services 176 independent Bumper to Bumper jobber stores. It also operates eight CDP operations. We compete with national companies such as NAPA, Parts Plus, O’Reilly, CARQUEST, AutoZone and many locally owned independent WD’s/jobbers.
Recognized nationally as one of the five largest, privately owned parts store operations in the country. As we near our 100th year, we are confident that our future will be as bright as our long and colorful past. Being that this is a closely held mostly family business, it’s nice to know that the family intends to remain in the business. Mr. Crow’s great grandsons are key members of the next generation of owner managers. Fletcher Lord III, son of Fletcher, Crow Lord, son of Bobby, and Ben Butler son in law of Fletcher are all part of the next generation management team.