Off the beaten path

Jan. 1, 2020
Sports fans, rejoice! Now there's an air freshener that allows you to show off your team colors while keeping your car smelling fresh. SportFolio's ProScent air fresheners come in the shape of both college and professional team jerseys and logos and

"I can't trust anybody, so I do all the work (on my car) myself. It is also cheaper, although I usually spend the money I save on tools and beer."

JASPER JACKSON, NEWARK, CALIF.

Smells like team spirit

Sports fans, rejoice! Now there's an air freshener that allows you to show off your team colors while keeping your car smelling fresh. SportFolio's ProScent air fresheners come in the shape of both college and professional team jerseys and logos and are being marketed to fans as a "fun, simple way of expressing team pride." The sports-themed, bad-smell busters currently are available at car washes and convenience stores around the country, with an expanded nationwide rollout planned throughout the year. What's next? Cheerleader-shaped mud flaps for the fans who prefer halftime shows?

A doggone good idea to prevent dog gone

A dog riding in the back of a pickup truck may seem as American as apple pie, but leaving your pooch unrestrained during a trip may lead to a serious accident. But don't despair — with the PupHut®, Fido now can accompany his master on trips in safety and comfort. The PupHut three-point restraint system can keep a dog from being thrown from a truck bed if a vehicle stops suddenly, hits a bump or swerves to the side, and also protects dogs from the sun, wind, rain and other debris. Now that's something that deserves a resounding "woof" of approval from our canine friends.

Editor's note: The following letter is in response to the March 2008 Bottom Line by Larry Silvey.

Dear Editor, You are drinking too much AA (Advance/AutoZone) Kool-aid! I quote:"This is a fundamentals business . . . there's no substitute for hot shot delivery, parts availability, knowledgeable outside salespeople, knowledgeable counter people, logical and fair return policies and so on."

Your job is to report the truth about our industry! The time is soon coming when Wall Street will turn away from our industry.The retail house of cards is slowly falling apart. Wall Street doesn't want to hear about a mature industry with slower inventory turns and higher expenses.

Advance and AutoZone's cost of doing business are already high compared to traditional aftermarket distribution.They have raised their profit margins too high, so that the traditional aftermarket "jobbers" now offer the DIFM and DIY market better prices than the retailers do. It is time Wall Street understands "this is a fundamentals business!" Moreover, there is no magic or smoke and mirrors when it comes to the fundamentals.

Dan Walker Vice President of Walker Auto Stores

Dear Dan, Actually, I think we're in agreement. Something must have gotten lost in the translation.Advance or any other auto retailer cannot have success with commercial accounts unless it, in essence, becomes a jobber.

Larry Silvey Editor-in-Chief