After 22 years working for Auto Parts Network, Tony Crocker said that he felt it was time to make his own way in the auto parts business.
Crocker, the owner of Exclusive Auto Parts, opened the new location for the auto parts store at 2611 Topsail Road in Chamberlains three weeks ago. Crocker started working in an auto yard as a teenager, eventually working his way up the chain for Auto Parts Network before deciding to open his own business. That experience afforded him the opportunity and experience of becoming acquainted with every conceivable moving and fixed part on an automobile.
“It just grew from picking parts, to inside working on the ramp and then to sales,” said Crocker of his years with the company.
The Exclusive Auto Parts owner, who runs the shop with his son Tony, said the time was right three years ago to start his own auto parts business.
“I always wanted to do it on my own,” said Crocker.
But make no mistake: the new location is not exactly a new business for Crocker. He has used the past three years to steadily build a customer base and work with suppliers out of a location in a storage mall at the top of Fowler’s Road, in Chamberlains.
Crocker said the volume of business eventually exceeded the size of the building making a move to a larger location necessary. Crocker decided to move into the old Sugar Plum Textiles building on the corner of Uplands Road and the main road in Chamberlains, which had been unoccupied for a number of years. Crocker took care to see the building undergo extensive renovations and upgrading prior to his setting up shop.
“It was pretty busy, running back and forth and keeping it all going,” Crocker allowed, smiling. “We did a lot of work to this place last fall.”
While the new location has only been open for three weeks, Crocker said the move has already been a big boost to his already increasing business volume.
“It’s probably three times as busy,” said Crocker. “You get a lot more traffic stopping by.”
Considering the extensive range of automotive parts and accessories that Exclusive Auto Parts offers, it’s understandable.
“We sell new and used body parts and aftermarket body parts and mechanical,” said Crocker. “It’s bumper to bumper.”