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03/10/2020

Auto aftermarket e-tailer thrives in private label

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc., Carson, Calif., an online retailer that runs different e-commerce sites that focus on aftermarket automotive parts and accessories, posted fourth quarter and year-end earnings driven by its private label market.

In Q4, versus sales from a year ago, the company’s private brand sales increased by 15%, and grew by 6% for the year. The earnings call said private brand sales accounted for 90% of sales in the fourth quarter, which netted at $63 million.

Net sales for the year finished at $280.7 million, a slight decline.

U.S. Auto Parts runs three websites: www.carparts.com, www.jcwhitney.com, and www.autopartswarehouse.com. The company sells branded and private brand products targeted to the DIY mechanic, with parts for collision, engine and performance enhancement. In total, they sell more than a million private label and branded aftermarket products, reaching 10 million customers a month.

 "Our elimination of unprofitable revenue and strict focus on private label sales led to our strongest level of gross margin in eight years,” said Lev Peker, chief executive officer, U.S. Auto Parts.

“There is still plenty we want to accomplish and improve upon, and we have taken concrete steps in 2019 to position U.S. Auto Parts to make further improvements in 2020," Peker added. "In fact, through the first two months of this year, we are currently on pace to generate more than 30% growth in private label sales compared to Q1 2019, resulting in double digit growth in the overall business, while maintaining our strong level of gross margin. We are still in the early innings of taking U.S. Auto Parts to its full potential."