If you need an oil change or new wiper blades, don’t let new ownership at NAPA Auto Parts on East Herrick Avenue deter you, says manager Debbie Hullum.
Hullum was named store manager in June when Don Foster of Spencer took over majority ownership. William Clark, the previous owner, passed away in 2015 and left the decision to retain ownership up to his children. Stores owned by Clark in Berea, Brunswick, Strongsville, and Medina were turned over to NAPA corporate control, while the Wellington store remained privately owned.
Tim Benko, who recently retired as manager after 43 years, retains a 47 percent minority stake.
“It’s been crazy up here but in a good way,” said Hullum. “We’re trying to get some new clientele in here with new heavy duty products like drums, shoes, and airbags.”
Hullum said NAPA’s business has remained steady in the face of slowed traffic in downtown Wellington and has even picked up in some ways.
“We have new people here behind the counter so we’re trying to get them trained and ready to go,” she said. “It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason besides trust from our customers but we’re remaining very busy up here.”
For anyone apprehensive of staying at NAPA after the big change, Hullum says to have faith.
“We have two new people and everyone else has been here for a long time, ” she said. “I’ve been here over 10 years and was assistant manager for eight of those. We’re still the same familiar faces with the same familiar service. We just want to add to it.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise New store manager Debbie Hullum says customer service at NAPA Auto Parts will not suffer with the transition to new ownership.