Napa Auto Parts store returns to Montevideo

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

STAR Group LLC has been working through the final stages of opening a new Napa Auto Parts store in Montevideo. The group began planning the opening in late December, early January, deciding that Montevideo would be a good location for their 15th store in Minnesota. “There’s always been a NAPA store here in the past. It’s always been a successful market for us and it’s just a good opportunity for future growth for the STAR Group and being able to put a foothold in the Western part of the state,” says STAR Group’s Owatonna Sales Manager Travis Olson who has been helping with the set-up of the new Montevideo location.

With the help of Double D Development LLC of Montevideo, along with other local contractors, much remodeling has gone into the building located at 2002 Black Oak Ave. The new Napa store will be located in one-third of the building. “It’s been fun to work with everyone involved. They had the biggest part to play in all of this,” says STAR Group co-owner Tony Gulden. “Everybody in Montevideo has been really easy to work with.” STAR Group employees from the Owatonna warehouse have been setting up the store most recently, unloading all of the inventory onto the shelves and organizing the space.

STAR Group LLC is a Minnesota-based company, owned by Steve & Paula Windschitl, and Tony & Shannon Gulden. The company purchased the Granite Falls Napa in April, which began their move into Western Minnesota, and have plans on the horizon for more expansion into the Western part of the state. The group hired Josh Raveling of Montevideo to manage the new location, and Gulden points out that all of the employees hired are comprised of local community members. They plan to, at their peak, have ten employees, with the majority being full-time.

The Montevideo Napa will hold the largest inventory of their stores. “It’s the biggest in our group and I would say it’s going to be the biggest inventory of any competitor out there,” says Gulden. Touring the facility, one will note many aisles of tall shelving units filled with parts. There’s also a separate room for hydraulic hoses, an area for air compressors and toolboxes, a retail area, and a loading area for nightly deliveries from the Owatonna warehouse that will provide customers the ability to get parts not on hand in overnight. “We’re able to source parts from 57 distribution centers throughout the United States with more than 500,000 part numbers,” says Olson. “We will have a large inventory of hydraulic hoses. We’re really agricultural and industrial driven. We focus heavily on wholesale business and D.I.Y.’ers.” 

Besides the availability of parts, Gulden believes service is what sets his company apart. “Service to the customer is as important as selling the parts right now. It’s service, service, service… and availability. That’s why we’re tying in a couple of towns here to be able to feed off this inventory,” he says.

The new Napa Auto Parts of Montevideo has an opening date set for Tuesday, July 6th and Gulden notes that hours of operation are currently yet to be determined.