|Performance Warehouse (PW) was incorporated in 1969. This wholesale establishment was created to enable our three existing retail stores of "Baxter Auto Parts, Inc." to compete with the bigger 'retailers' in our area, by buying larger quantities at lower prices. However, to sell these larger quantities we had to sell to other auto parts stores...Thus the beginning of our little warehouse in the back of our Parkrose store in Northeast Portland. The PW logo began in orange and black, it has since been changed to red and black.
In 1974, we added 5,000 Sq. Feet to the back of this store, but soon outgrew this facility. In 1978 we purchased a building on North Mississippi and Interstate Avenue in Central Portland. We kept adding more automotive lines and were bursting at the seams when we moved into our current Portland location. Currently, we are located on N. Whitaker Road, just across the river from the state of Washington and just off the I-5 Freeway. This Portland move was in 1986. In 1989, we opened a warehouse in the Seattle, Washington area. The Seattle warehouse was located on S. Alaska Street.
The year 1997 proved to be one of many changes. Our Portland Annex, which we opened in 1994 on Swan Island in North Portland, was moved to N. Marine Drive and doubled in size. Our Annex handles all returns from customers while processing defectives and cores. Our Catalog Department is located there along with our Phone Sales Department. We also warehouse larger items there, such as: headers, bug shields, running boards, oil, etc. We purchased the existing business Republic Automotive in Tacoma, Washington and moved our Seattle facility to Tacoma. This move allowed us to double in size, compared to the Seattle warehouse.
Performance Warehouse is a specialty warehouse for all kinds of automotive accessories and specialty equipment. With the purchase of Republic Automotive we are now a full line warehouse as well. With the three locations, we have approximately 130,000 Sq. Feet of warehouse space most of which has second floor racking doubling the storage area.
The year 2000 saw even more growth for Performance Warehouse. We added an in-house barcoding system. This automated system allowed us to almost eliminate human error that might have been caught too late in the past. When the system is fully operational and we have all the bugs eliminated, it will help us serve our customers much better. Parts pullers are aided with a device to scan each part and the tote that it goes into. This allows us to keep everything tracked in the computer system immediately. The device the parts pullers use is called a "Gladiator". The main key pad is attached to their wrist and the barcode scanner attaches to their finger. It allows us to be almost 100 percent paperless and also helps reduce pulling errors.
In 2001, the Annex on Marine Drive in Portland also doubled in size. Our Portland warehouse on N. Whitaker will be consolidated with our Annex. The two Portland warehouses are strategically located on opposite sides of the I-5 freeway. This move allows Will Call orders to be picked up at one location, making it much easier on delivery drivers. We have triple decked the shelving area at the Annex, making it 138,000 square feet including all levels. We are now the amazon of auto parts! The consolidation of the two warehouses is expected to be complete before the end of the year. The corporate offices will continue to stay at our N. Whitaker location.
In 2007 we moved again to our state of the art facility in Hillsboro, OR. The former home of Volkswagen of North America was built in 1971 for Riviera Motors. Our new facility is home to our Portland Inside Sales Team and Purchasing staff. The warehouse is 150,000 sq. ft. if you include the mezzanine shelving we have 210,000 sq. ft. with an additional 66,000 sq. ft. of expansion room available. This new facility enables us to operate with better effeciencies to better service our customers.
Today, we have one of the largest inventories available and ship to parts stores all over the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. With an in-house computer system and over 250 employees, Performance Warehouse is a leader in the Auto Parts industry.