Manny, Moe and Jack looking toward streamlined, electrified future for Pep Boys

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — This might be the biggest change at Pep Boys since they took away Manny’s cigar 30 years ago. The iconic auto parts store is changing.

It’s been 100 years since three World I veterans started an auto parts store and repair garage in Philadelphia. Since then they’ve made three truly noteworthy changes to the company’s public persona. One was around 1925 when they changed the company logo to feature themselves — Manny, Moe and Jack. Another was in 1990 when, in an effort to keep up with new thinking regarding healthy lifestyles, Manny dropped the stogie he’d been smoking for almost 70 years.

The other change came this spring when the company unveiled a new look and a new business model for its 109 California Pep Boys stores — yes, including right here, Where We Live.

Pep Boys will lease the auto parts half of the operation to a competitor, Advance Auto Parts — but will retain the auto repair half of the operation. But even that part is changing …

In a statement, CEO Brian Kaner said the agreement — taking shape over the next 12 months — would allow Pep Boys to, quote, “refresh our service center locations and reinvest in the market” –specifically to meet demand for “electric vehicle service … in the region.”

California is going electric and in an undeniable sign Wall Street believes the transition is all but a done deal, Pep Boys is too.

Eduardo Perez, commercial service manager of the Pep Boys on F Street downtown — one of five Bakersfield Pep Boys — said consumers will be happy with the changes on both sides of the business.

“The big news is Advance Auto Parts coming in, doing a full remodel,”‘ he said. “Big changes coming through, a lot more parts, a lot more merchandise, that’s going to be available to customers locally.”

What about that iconic sign on F Street? Will it still say Pep Boys? We find out as early as six weeks, when, according to Perez, Advance takes over the auto parts side of the store.

So you may not be able to get a key chain with your name on it much longer at Pep Boys but you can still get an oil change, and soon perhaps maintenance for your EV.

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