O’Reilly Auto Parts to open facility

FAIRMONT – Construction on an O’Reilly Auto Parts store began earlier this month on the eastern edge of the Five Lakes Centre parking lot in Fairmont.

“We don’t have a specific date, but it’s scheduled to open in the fall,” said Mark Merz, O’Reilly’s director of external reporting and investor relationships.

The Fairmont location will be one of about 200 new O’Reilly Auto Parts stores opening this year. The publicly traded company already operates more than 4,200 stores nationwide.

According to Merz, the new store could employ up to a dozen people. It will be open seven days a week.

While all O’Reilly stores usually run the same operating hours, “the specific hours are adjusted to the individual market,” he said.

Most stores are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the Sunday opening later and closing earlier.

O’Reilly Auto Parts practices a “dual marketing strategy,” Merz said, focusing on both do-it-yourselfers and professional mechanics.

“You have to have lots of great parts, but you have to know what you’re talking about,” Merz said.

O’Reilly’s does not sell tires or vehicle body parts, nor do the stores have service bays, but they do carry parts from a blinker switch to a trailer hitch, Merz said.

O’Reilly Auto Parts stocks its stores from regional distribution centers, which send out trucks five nights per week.

“So if we don’t have the part you want, you’ll have it by the time we open the next morning,” Merz said.

Although the stores don’t service vehicles, employees can help switch out wiper blades, replace some bulbs or even install a new battery.

If your “check engine” light comes on, “we can hook your car up to a diagnostic and try to get you pointed in the right direction,” Merz said.