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    Trak Auto Corp.
    list rank

    From the April 28, 1997 Washington Post


    '96 (in $ 000s) % Change From '95
    Revenue 344,600 (1.7)
    Net Income 7,290 (29.0)
    Rank Last Year: 37

    Description:
    Trak Auto operates 286 auto parts stores nationwide, with 77 locations in the Washington area. The company is 67 percent owned by Dart Group Corp., the retail holding company founded by the Haft family.

    Business Resume:
    • Contact Info --
      3300 75th Ave.
      Landover, Md. 20785
      301-731-1200
    • Main Business --
      Retailing--auto parts
    • Founded --
      1983
    • Chairperson --
      Herbert H. Haft (CEO)
    • President --
      R. Keith Green
    • Employees --
      3,700
    • D.C.-Area Employees --
      1,500
    Developments:
    A recent settlement tentatively accepted by Herbert H. Haft to leave his positions at Dart and all its subsidiaries could have a profound impact on Dart and its companies. Trak Auto is no exception.

    Dart's executive committee, which has been battling to remove the Hafts from positions of control at the company, needs desperately to raise money to pay for the agreements it has negotiated, and many industry experts believe the company will begin selling off its subsidiaries.

    Trak may be a particularly appealing company for Dart to sell because the "aftermarket" for automobile parts and accessories has been sluggish all year, dragging down the sales and profits of many industry players, including Trak. The pace of consolidation has increased in the auto parts business as a result, prompting analysts to argue that Trak would fit well into the operations of one of its competitors.

    Yet Trak's own sluggish sales and declining profits also could undermine a possible sale. If Dart's main goal is to make money from its divestiture, it must be concerned about getting a good price, and Dart officials say the chain's weakening financial results may mean they won't be able to get as much as they want for Trak.

    At its peak in 1993, Trak Auto operated 333 stores, but it has been closing smaller, less profitable outlets and replacing them with larger superstores. The company operates three store formats now, under the names Trak Auto, SuperTrak and SuperTrak Warehouse—the biggest and newest of the three. Last year was the first year since 1993 that the company increased its store base, with a net gain of 10 locations.

    Despite the sluggish economy for auto parts and the uncertain future of its parent company, Trak is not holding back on its expansion. The company plans to open 15 to 25 more stores in the coming year.

    © Copyright 1997 The Washington Post

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