Amazon and Pep Boys are expanding nationwide a program that allows consumers to order tires online from Amazon and have them shipped to a Pep Boys service center for installation, according to a Pep Boys press release.
The companies tested the program in Tampa, Florida, earlier this year, and have since expanded it to reach Pep Boys locations in major markets. The automotive retail and service chain now expects the service to be available nationwide in almost 1,000 stores by the end of this year, the press release stated.
Shoppers who buy vehicle tires from Amazon are prompted during the online checkout process to package installation services with their purchase. They can then choose a service provider in their local area, and select a preferred date and time for their installation appointment.
Amazon now has similar deals in place with Pep Boys, Sears Auto Centers and Monro Muffler Brake that allow customers to conveniently package local installation services at one of thousands of auto center locations along with their tire purchases. The expansion of the Pep Boys program marks the latest progress Amazon is making on two different fronts — services and the auto parts market.
As e-commerce sales and competition have grown, Amazon and other big players have sought to sell more complex items that may benefit from (or even require) professional assembly or installation. Amazon, Home Depot, eBay and others have set up their own pre-checkout offerings of such services. Just last week eBay announced a partnership with Handy, Porch and InstallerNet to enable local service installation to be packaged with home product purchases.
Meanwhile, Amazon also has been edging into the auto parts business via selling a variety of parts, with some experts believing the possible end game is that the e-commerce giant could become an online car dealership. As the self-described largest auto service chain not tied to a particular tire manufacturer or brand, Pep Boys is both a logical partner for Amazon and one that may be able to propel Amazon’s automotive market hopes to new levels of success.
The expansion of this partnership makes it more likely that consumers will buy tires from Amazon because they won’t have to figure out how and where they will have them installed. It will also help Pep Boys, which was acquired three years ago by Carl Icahn for over $1 billion, get more service business at a time when aspects of vehicle care are moving online.