Pep Boys Shop Reopens After Hurricane Michael
Dec. 10, 2019—Pep Boys has re-opened its Service and Tire Center in Panama City, Fla., more than a year after the store suffered significant damage in 2018’s Hurricane Michael. The category 5 storm destroyed the service and tire center’s bay doors and large sections of the roof, as well as the store’s windows and exterior, according to a press release.
While another nearby location was damaged beyond repair, Pep Boys Panama City has been fully renovated and now has 12 service bays with new equipment, additional car lifts and a new waiting area with customer amenities. With both tenured and new employees, the company says that its team can perform maintenance and repairs on nearly all makes and models.
“The re-opening of the Panama City Pep Boys shows our commitment to serving customers, and it’s also a representation of the heart and resilience of the community,” said Brian Kaner, CEO-Service, Icahn Automotive. “Thank you to our employees and customers who stuck by each other during and after the storm. The decision to rebuild in Panama City and be a part of the recovery effort was an easy one.”
After the storm, Pep Boys sent two mobile crew services trailers to help with storm-related repairs, including the many tires flat from nails and storm debris. That crew fixed up to 70 cars on some days to get the community back on the road, the release said. As demand kept up with shops in the area still closed, the mobile crew stayed on location for 14 months, performing work in the trailer’s service bay and in the adjacent lot.
“We came together as a team to help each other and rebuild this store bigger and better, and the company showed how much it cares for our team and our city,” said Clinnon Harden, Pep Boys Senior Area Director. “Our customers are telling us they are so happy to have Pep Boys back at full strength, and we are excited to be able to serve them even better than before.”
Local teams also organized a grassroots barbecue and with donated food, equipment and time and served hot food to local residents, the release said. Two dozen colleagues from Port Richey, Fla., worked with their local community to collect supplies, eventually sending a 26-foot truck of supplies to Panama City. A corporate giving drive organized for Hurricane Michael relief brought monetary donations from across the country into the Icahn Automotive Team Member Charitable Fund, enabling the Fund to give affected team members grants for emergency funds and rebuild efforts.
“While the storm was devastating, it brought out the best in our people and their neighbors, as events like this often do. We are proud of our team members who gave generously and worked so hard to help others,” Kaner said.