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Inside Maaco’s Satellite Concept

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In February, Maaco announced a strategic partnership with Pep Boys to launch a nationwide automotive retail concept that would allow customers to schedule complete collision repair services, receive an estimate, and drop off and pick up their vehicles at a Pep Boys facility.

Currently, there are two satellite shops in Marietta and Union City, Ga., with plans for a nationwide rollout beginning with three Los Angeles–area locations that are set to open in the next few weeks.

Where did the idea for a partnership between Maaco and Pep Boys come from?

Maaco has been testing this retail concept for almost two years in locations on the east and west coasts. Customers tend to not to want to go to industrial areas where shops usually are, especially women, and we wanted to still be able to reach them. After we tested out a few of the satellite concepts, we reached out to Pep Boys, a company with a very similar customer base, and partnered.

How exactly does the concept work?

Inside of select Pep Boys, there are two different areas. One has retail sales for consumers who want to buy something off the shelf, such as a filter. At many Pep Boys, you can get mechanical work done, which is where the other type of location is at. The way those work is someone accompanies customers to their cars and using a mobile estimating platform, does a walkthrough with the customer. Afterwards, the customer comes back inside of Pep Boys and gets a final estimate. If the customer wants the work done, they are given a loaner vehicle within 10-15 minutes. After the customer leaves, the car is transferred to a production facility where the work is completed. The car is then taken back to Pep Boys within three to four days where the customer can pick it up.  

Maaco has sophisticated sales processes that use two different sections, one for cosmetic paint and then one for light collision. Those boards offer different services and warranties for customers. We took that information and made it digital for the satellite concepts. With these digital boards, we are able to show consumers the exact details of how and why the repair needs to be done.

Why was Maaco interested in this concept?

I think it makes sense that services are made available to consumers in the retail spaces where they shop. This way, they don’t have to look for a Maaco outside of their own normal shopping habits. Consumers do not want to drive to industrial areas to get their cars worked on. With this satellite concept, we are able to capture business right where consumers feel comfortable shopping.

How does this partnership benefit each company?

For Pep Boys, it offers their customers a service that they traditionally have not offered. It’s an added benefit to their customers. For Maaco, it helps us expand our footprint. We have 500 shops today, and this is another level for growth. It helps us put Maaco in front of consumers in a different trade area. It’s a win-win for both brands.  

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