Pep Boys, the auto parts and service chain where your 17-year-old self got those hideous clear taillights for your first car, is set for a massive rebranding effort that will see it focus even more heavily on personal service.
Called “Road Ahead,” the new program has kicked off in 70 of the company’;s 800 locations. The service areas in those outlets feature leather chairs and free wireless internet, while service personnel have been instructed to greet each customer with a handshake and be willing and able to explain every repair a vehicle needs.
Part of this service-minded push is, naturally, money. In particular, Pep Boys is aiming for a slice of the estimated $ 300 billion that women spend on auto repairs each year. That said, the ladies aren’;t too fond of service facilities.
According to Chief Marketing Officer Ron Stoupa, one woman called repair shops like Pep Boys “a valley of liars and thieves,” during a focus group session. “This is a tough industry to gain trust in,” Stoupa told Ad Week.
In the past, “this industry didn’;t cater to the female side because they weren’;t seen as do-it-yourselfers,” Stoupa, told Ad Week. “What we see now is that because gender roles have changed, women are taking the responsibility” of getting a car fixed, and troublingly for the industry, women don’;t seem to trust repair places, like Pep Boys.
To be fair, Pep Boys service facilities, which are forced to compete with dealership service and independent garages, have a lot to gain with this new, more personal approach. The fact that it is also willing to make the worst part of auto repairs – the waiting – better, is an even more promising sign. Here’;s hoping this new approach sees a more wide-spread adoption at the company’;s other locations.