Business growth in Fulton flourishes

By MICHAEL UPTON
Staff Writer

New retail development in Fulton will soon lead to more choices for residents in the areas of auto parts and dining.

Crews broke ground this week in Fulton on the construction of an OÕReilly Auto Parts on South Adams Street along side the Huddle House/Baskin Robbins building.

O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. started in the auto parts business in Springfield, Mo., in November 1957.

In March 1975, annual sales volume had risen to $7 million, and the company had a total of nine stores, all located in the southwest Missouri area.

On Jan. 30, 1998, O'Reilly merged with Hi/LO Auto Supply, adding 190 auto parts stores in Texas, Louisiana, and California, as well as a distribution center in Houston, Texas. The Hi/LO acquisition made O'Reilly one of the top 10 auto parts chains in the country.

On Oct. 1, 2001, O'Reilly purchased Mid-State Automotive Distributors, Inc., adding 85 auto parts stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, as well as four distribution centers in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Pensacola. The acquisition made O'Reilly one of the top five auto parts chains in the country.

Today the company has more than 1,000 stores in 17 states. Total sales are estimated to be $1.3 billion.

O'Reilly already has locations in Booneville, Columbus, Corinth, New Albany, Starkville, Tupelo and West Point in Northeast Mississippi.

WENDY'S RESTAURANT –
Another new project in Fulton will start next month. Fulton Mayor Paul Walker said that ground will be broken in April for a Wendy's restaurant.

The Wendy's franchise will be located across from Pizza Hut just off Piercetown Road.

Wendy's is a fast-food chain started by Dave Thomas in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio.

There are now more than 6,000 Wendy's locations worldwide including Amory, Booneville, Columbus, Corinth, New Albany, Oxford, Starkville, Tupelo and West Point.

Wendy's is also well known for its community involvement activities including the High School Heisman program and Thomas' involvement with adoption programs.