Of course they're NOT. As a (thankfully) former "team member", everytime I go into an AAP I see the same thing-No service and no customers. And the sad part is that everyone in the company knows why. It's not a secret. The stores need more payroll or more MPT hours if you're STILL a believer that they'll eventually run the company off of hours like every other retailer. The point is this-as long as the board and the shareholders get paid, you at AAP will suffer. So if you're tired of it, STOP talking about it and go to work somewhere else. If NOT, QUIT COMPLAINING. YOU hold the fate of the company in your hands. If enough of the SM's, DM's leave they'll have to change...right? The reality is that they WON'T change...they'll just find somebody cheaper to burn out.
I too have left Advance. I was an Assistant Manager at the bottom of the pay scale. I was usually the only manager in the store as the Store Manager and Second Assistant always had excuses why they couldn't work. They closed my store and transferred me to a store with a wacko Store Manager. My DM was never available by phone or email. I'm done! I got a new job using my BSEE degree making much more money. I have an interview at AutoZone for a part time position.
As a former store manager I can relate to everything you say.
Payroll was always an issue in our store - I thought the percentage was way too low. I never liked MPT (don't know where corporate ripped that off from) because it never accurately reflected what went on in the store all day. I could tell at the beginning that all MPT was for was to allow corporate to control payroll while telling us it was for efficency. I thought that was what a store manager was for, to make the day to day decisions of how many employees to have, how many to open and close, etc - guess not.
I was lucky to have GOOD DM's that worked with our store but they had to follow the foolishness the company sent down the pipe. As far as RVP's, that's where payroll reductions should start - they contribute nothing to the store (bet most of them are on a 3-5 day weekend right now while team members get to go home "early" tonight at 8:00 pm).
As you said- if you don't like it move on or change, I did. I went to work for 3M and get paid for every minute I'm at work, time and a half and double time on weekends (got the next 3 days off for the holiday - it's great!). I miss my customers at Advance and they still come up to me and say the store is not the same as it was when it opened. Payroll was less restricted then, we HAD a detailer to take care of inventory so we could be up front selling parts and not doing cycle counts and MINDLESS planograms.
At the leadership conferences in Orlando the biggest thing I kept hearing from the big guys was how they were tired of being number 2 and had to get to number 1 or else. Maybe corporate should stop worrying about the size of their p#$%@ and concentrate on keeping the stores fully staffed to do business properly, not just to meet a payroll percent every week.
The stores are starting to look shabby, lots of lights out on the bldg and lot, and still hard to get help inside the store because there are only 3 or 4 people working at a given time, somtimes only 2, hard to do with commercial delivery. The stores and company can be great again but it will require some sacrifices from corporate and not from the team members all the time.
I continue to buy some things from Advance and the rest online - it's the 21st century you know. If Advance and the rest of the auto "boxes" want to compete they have to offer SERVICE and PRICE.
P.S. I'll bet Advance didn't send 3000 people to Orlando to party this year! Sucks being a public stock huh?
You are describing AutoZone almost word for word. They took our Gathering trips away beginning in 2001. They also had President Club trips for honored managers. I was honored in 1999 with a trip to Cancun along with 100 other mgrs. After trips and gatherings, we mgrs. were pumped and ready to work hard and move the company forward. They also gave us stock options semi regularly. Now there really isn't any incentive to become a manager. Between the issues as stated above at AAP and the negative voicemails every day at AZ, I moved on to better things without the constant stress. As far as going to upper management or the directors, GET REAL! Their open door leads to being tagged problematic. Sad that us veterans just wanted to lead the company back to Pitt Hyde's vision of customer service and taking care of AutoZoners. Tell me, how many lines of the pledge still hold true. "AutoZoners always put customers first, we know our parts and products, our stores look great, we have the best merchandise at the right price."
Sounds like compititors to AAP than actual AAP employees. If you care AAP so much, why don't you bring the matter to the top management and board of directors, instead of spending hours on the message board to analysis the stock? No one pays for your overtime by spending hours typing here, either.
I don't know you Mid...if I ever did anything to you up there, than I sincerely apologize...you probably, like most of the SM's, have been kept in the dark about how things were...sounds like you've got some things going for you outside of AAP...why are you holding on? Notice that I didn't say anyhting negative to you or about you? The reason-it's classless. Help yourself look more professional by keeping obscene language and rude comments to yourself. Good luck to you. AND if anyone is interested, I found a company that pays SM's 75K-200K a year working 45 hours. I'm not recruiting for them, I'm just sying that there's much better companies out there to work for. Good luck to you all.
AND to add to something CJ said-you're right...some of the best people I've ever had the pleasure of working with were AAP team members, and if I ever treated any of them poorly (UNLESS THEY DESERVED IT, OF COURSE) than I do apologize. here were some that I happily "promoted to customer". Being in the position of DM for AAP is very stressful AND very maddening! And yes...DM's did have better bonus structures...again, apolgies to any I wronged along the way (UNLESS THEY DESERVED IT)and best wishes to all of you.
They sure don't have any payroll in the stores here in Houston. I still have friends there, so I feel bad for them. Our RM has given us unlimited payroll hours to use on customer service for the last four weeks, and my friends are working on two man coverage open to close every day except weekends at advance. Here at autozone sales are great in our store because we have a lot of people working. I was at advance for a year and I think I would have a heart attack if our store manager said our RM gave us unlimited hours to use.
Interesting... here's someone else who knows the problem. Advance has been treating the symptoms for the last 3 or 4 years while ignoring the problem (store level payroll, of course). Turnover has been terrible ever since the grocery boys came in. Unfortunately the same grocery store mentality on payroll still exists today. When Jackson and crew throw out this daily micromanagement of store level payroll, only then will I admit that there are good times ahead for AAP. Jackson and the boys are still filling all those new upper level positions... 6 months after they took over. If we get enough of those 200K-500K salaried folks in place, they'll fix all the problems!
Oh.. to answer your statement about folks leaving... My old store is on their 5th store manager since I left in 2006. That's about average for this area since the grocery boys stepped in. As a comparison, the store had 2 managers from 1995-2006. Anyone see any potential issues?
I believe you are right. This seems to be Cale Stowe. I had a brief interview with him a few years ago for the LP Anaylst position with region 52. They gave it to an older gentlemen, very nice guy but I do not recall his name.
I spent some time working at a few stores (all between 2001-2004) in Newport News (2960) , Chesapeake (5490...I think...Military highway), and Virginia Beach (2190). I've since moved on as it seems most involved with this company eventually do. I'm a Navy pilot now so there's no love lost from me! I used AAP while I worked on my Bachelor's pretty much the same way they used me!
I once sent an email to a regional manager and a vice president regarding my thoughts of the way I was being treated and of course the lack of a decent salary. Oh boy, did that rattle some cages! I got a one on four with a few upper management people! I'm sure those same guys are still there that likely still don't really care. Again, while I loved the people that worked for me, I don't think the regional office appreciates anyone at the store level.
I still visit AAP stores and it seems things still haven't changed. They are very understaffed, and while many of the "team members" give their best effort, they are in over their heads and it is ashame. I usually tell them to help out other people as I can wait because I've stood in their shoes.
I always heard the upper management preach about wanting to be number one. Well, it does not take a grocery store manager (or from what I read, they are trying) to figure out that that will likely never happen. They continue to use failed policies and refuse to change. That too, is a shame. There are many genuine "team members" that enjoy what they do, but in my time there, many grew tired of trying to please every customer because it was thankless. The upper offices seem to forget that the money is made in the stores but does not equip the stores properly to make any!
I would have likely stayed at AAP had I been able to attain to "corporate" career. I guess I wasn't good enough to be a buyer, LP guy, or regional trainer. But I am good enough to fly $30 million aircraft for the Navy.
I'm sure there are few know who I am and those corporate guys who read this board may know me as well.
Good luck to you all with your investments.