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Shops weigh in on private label vs. national brand parts purchasing, preferences

Nearly 21% of parts purchasers at independent repair shops report knowing what brand is in the private label box, up from 19.6% in 2021

Naperville, Ill.—Automotive research firm IMR recently spoke people most responsible for making parts purchasing decisions at 500 independent automotive repair shops. The focus was to understand their use and perceptions of private label and national branded parts.

More than 20% said they typically know what brand is in the private label box. Notably, shops with less than 7 bays are more likely to know the brand in the private label box (21.8%) than shops with 8-plus bays (16.4%)

Nearly 41% of independent auto repair shops said their first-call supplier carried categories where the majority of the brands offered were private label with few national branded options. Of that 40.8%, 19.1% said they go to another supplier to purchase nationally branded products; 10.3% say they always/frequently do and 66.7% say they occasionally do.

When asked if they’d switch their first-call supplier if they changed to primarily private label brands with limited national brands, 6.0% said they Definitely/Very Likely would. However, of the 59.2% of shops that said their first call doesn’t have heavy private label branded categories, that number rises to 8.8% and another 13.5% say they would likely switch.

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