67 WALL STREET, New York - September 5, 2012 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Retail Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.
Topics covered: Brick-And-Mortar Versus Online Retail Sales - Cautious Consumer Spending - Specialty Hardlines and Softlines Retail - Strong Secular Growth in E-Commerce - International Retail Platforms
Companies include: U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc. (PRTS) and many others.
In the following excerpt from the Retail Report, the CFO of U.S. Auto Parts Network discusses the outlook for his company:
TWST: Please begin with a quick overview of U.S. Auto Parts Network.
Mr. Robson: The business was started in 1995 in Los Angeles serving local body shops. We were one of the early adopters, going online in 2000. Between 2000 to 2005, we launched additional sites to meet customer niche interests. We had an IPO in 2007, and that's when Shane Evangelist, our CEO, joined the company.
In 2010, we acquired JC Whitney, launching our accessories business, as well as launching AutoMD, a customer advocacy site for auto repair. Last year was spent integrating the JC Whitney brand into our core business. That is where we are today. We compete in a $45 billion market, of which $2 to $3 billion in the do-it-yourself market is traded online. We are the largest in that space.
TWST: In this marketplace, what are the company's advantages? What are its competitive edges?
Mr. Robson: I would say a couple of points. One, we, by far, have the ability to attract customers to our site as low cost of acquisition. So we have nearly 15 million unique visitors that come to our site monthly. Second, we source a lot of our product through a pretty efficient supply chain from Asia, about 40% of our product base is private label. A lot of our competition doesn't have that breadth of brand sourcing, and products available for sale online had a great value proposition.
We have a very efficient cost structure. About 1,000 of our 1,500 employees are headquartered in the Philippines, where the cost structure is much more effective, so we'll pass that on to our customer. So I think those are the three areas where we have a pretty significant competitive advantage in the space that we compete in.
TWST: A year ago, what were the goals and expectations of U.S. Auto Parts Network? How has the company fared?
Mr. Robson: Because, as I mentioned, we acquired JC Whitney in 2010, 2011 was a focus on integrating a pretty sizable brand into our company, and it was a difficult acquisition. It was probably harder than we thought initially. Most of the senior executive team focus has been on bringing that business in, and we got it done in 2011. So now in 2012, we're going to focus on growing the business.
TWST: What events do you see impacting the industry from the perspective of customers' needs? What is changing out there?
For more from this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.
- JC Whitney