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How Auto Parts Websites Shape Up Against Amazon


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The online market for after-market car parts, by some estimates expected to 

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 in the next few years, represents an interesting opportunity both for established retailers that could grab market share as consumers move online—and companies like 
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, that will look to grab those same shoppers.

Investors have been sensitive to the threat Amazon presents for a while now. Early last year, when news broke that the company was targeting the market, 

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. Is it useless to resist the oncoming behemoth?

Perhaps not. In a Friday report, Raymond James analysts reviewed some of the major players’ sites, comparing those of 

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, 
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, 
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, Amazon and privately-owned 
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. By their measures, Advance holds up best.

How Auto Parts Websites Shape Up Against Amazon
ILLUSTRATION: RAYMOND JAMES

“Advance’s and O’Reilly’s websites offer a slightly more attractive alternative to Amazon’s,” the analysts wrote, “particularly for DIY customers that are either 1) looking for useful browsing features, 2) seeking information on parts, or 3) wanting to buy online and pick up in store.”

More generally, investors seem to like the business. Earlier this month, Credit Suisse 

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and a boost from tax reform. And on Friday, JPMorgan called it “one of the best sectors in retail,” adding Advance to its “Focus List” with a $138 price target on the shares, about 12% above current levels.

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