By Dan Richman
By January, O’Reilly Auto Parts in Oak Harbor will move to a new location: the former Blockbuster building at 31821 State Highway 20, Wayne Russell, the store’s manager, confirmed.
The store is currently located at 31370 Highway 20.
The new location puts O’Reilly directly across from a competitor, AutoZone.
“I’ve never run a store directly across from the competition,” Russell said. “But we’ve got a NAPA store close to us at our current location and we still make our sales.”
The new location is a newer building and “gets us into a little better location — there’s more traffic and more visibility,” said Bill Dexter, O’Reilly’s district manager.
Oak Harbor is well supplied with auto-parts stores, Dexter acknowledged. It has four: AutoZone, NAPA, Oak Harbor Auto Parts and O’Reilly.
The competition, and close spacing, makes life simpler for customers, he said.
“In most cities, the auto-parts stores are spaced relatively close together,” he said. “It gives customers more options. In a lot of ways, it’s good to be closer to the competition.”
In any case, O’Reilly maintains a competitive advantage, Dexter said, because it features overnight delivery of ordered parts from its Puyallup distribution center and multiple deliveries daily from its four island locations.
“I don’t think any of the other companies have this same availability,” he said. “Our ability to source is better.”