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If you’ve been looking for a little NAPA no-how, you once again don’t have to venture outside Shelbyville.
The NAPA store at 114 Main St. that closed quickly and quietly last spring reopened this month under new ownership, Derby Cycles owner Shelby Riner, who has lived in the county so long he shares its name.
“They were on one side of the Catholic church [Annunciation], and we were on the other, and when they closed, we missed them,” Riner said. “We knew they were for sale, but when they closed….That’s when we got involved.”
The closing was because the owner, Bill Stroupe, got a divorce and had to get out of the business, Riner said.
“He owned Frankfort and Shelbyville,” he said. “NAPA bought it back from him.”
He said the Frankfort store had been resold, but Shelbyville had remained closed since March 31.
He had a history of buying parts from the store, and that’s when he got involved, reopening on Aug. 1.
“I’ve been going to NAPA since I’ve been a kid,” he said.
Genuine Parts owns NAPA, and the distributor has 6,200 stores nationwide, a product base and strength of brand that Riner said appealed to him. He said Stroupe continues to own the building and that the working relationship with NAPA is not that formal, twice referring to it as a “gentlemen’s agreement.”
“You’re just required to fly their banner and buy most of your parts from them,” he said. “But you want the NAPA brand. To sell other parts would be like McDonald’s selling another kind of hamburger.”
Riner restarted the store from scratch. He bought the existing inventory and is in the process of restocking even as he is open to customers. The company’s NAPA-emblazoned truck came with the deal.
He has hired four full-time employees and is “waiting to staff up,” and is open six days (7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8-5 on Saturdays). “We’ll see how Sunday goes
Riner, who said he is dividing his time between NAPA and Derby Cycles, and, since Day One, has been making sales calls to auto shops, garages and dealerships, selling the old business in a new way, to a combination of businesses and individuals.
“You know what they say,” he said. “If it’s on the shelf, you don’t care who buys it.”