Steve Thorne, CEO and owner of Eastern Warehouse Distributors, aka Auto Parts Warehouse, announced that the business has taken on a financial partner.
Eastern Warehouse Distributors is a two-step distributor focused on inventory, service and people. The company serves more than 5,000 active wholesale customers from 36 locations in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Thorne, who has owned the independent company for 30 years, said that while he spent the past 30 years reinvesting in the company’s growth, now was the time to take on a financial partner.
The Jordan Co., a private equity firm that specializes in buying and building companies in partnership with the existing owners and management teams, has invested a majority stake in the business through its automotive parts distribution platform.
“My goal has been, and will continue to be, bringing larger inventories with more select name brand lines to our customers’ doorsteps within 30 minutes or less. In the past two years, we have added 11 new locations and millions more in inventory. With the right partner we can even do it even better,” said Thorne.
In 2016, The Jordan Co. also invested in Parts Authority, one of the largest distributors of automotive and truck parts on the East Coast. Headquartered in Lake Success, New York, Parts Authority has approximately 100 locations in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., Georgia, Ohio, Arizona and California.
The fact that Parts Authority is a member of the National Pronto Association, while Eastern is a member of Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, is no cause for concern, said Thorne. “Parts Authority is a member of Pronto and Eastern a member of the Alliance group for 20 years. Those relationships will not be changing either. There is a strong firewall and commitment from both Parts Authority and Eastern to their respective groups not to share any confidential group information,” said Thorne.
“I personally believe that a trend moving forward will be more parts businesses joining up with strong PE type guys to form stronger organizations no matter what group you are committed too,” he added. “We see that today with XO Parts in Houston, a Pronto member, and The Parts House in Florida, a Network member.”
With both Parts Authority and Eastern Warehouse Distributors under the umbrella of The Jordan Co., the two management teams will be working on ways to help drive efficiencies, economies of scale and best use in business practices to deliver value to their customers and employees.
“Our new partners share our vision to grow our business over time by delivering outstanding services. Their collective support will help us continue with our goals. I am pleased to say that I continue to maintain a significant share of the overall company and will continue to run Eastern. There will be no changes in the way we conduct our business or to the management and personnel that have made this company the leader in our region,” added Thorne.
The company will remain Eastern Warehouse Distributors, aka Auto Parts Warehouse. All incentive plans and employee benefits remain in place and all customers and vendors will continue to benefit from Eastern’s growth and continued membership in the Alliance group. The combination of Parts Authority and Eastern will expand the national distribution footprint of The Jordan Co.’s auto parts distribution platform.