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Advance Auto Parts cuts 475 jobs as sales waver

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SOURCE: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/06/27/advance-auto-parts/431468001/

Advance Auto Parts cut nearly 500 jobs as it seeks a turnaround predicated on store upgrades after two consecutive years of sales declines.

The Roanoke, Va.-based retailer confirmed Tuesday that it had eliminated 475 positions in corporate, supply chain and field management.

The company, which has more than 5,000 stores, employed about 74,000 workers as of February, according to a public filing.

Advance Auto Parts spokesperson Laurie Stacy said the company had not cut any positions at its stores, where the company has been focusing its investments.

"These organizational changes ensure our structure and resources are properly aligned with our short- and long-term strategic business plan," she said in an email. "We are focused on productivity enhancements in areas that do not affect our customers while also significantly improving the customer experience."

The move came after a tough first quarter for Advance, whose sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.7%.

The company blamed the timing of its quarterly period and a lighter second half of winter for undermining sales.

The performance "served as a reminder that its turnaround will have plenty of puts and takes along the way," UBS analyst Michael Lasser said in a May 25 note. But, Lasser said, Advance boasts a "long-term growth story" that "remains attractive."

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