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AutoZone Announces Change to Executive Committee

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE: AZO), today announced that Michelle Borninkhof will join the Company as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Customer Satisfaction, replacing Ron Griffin who is retiring.

Michelle will come to AutoZone from McDonald’s where she most recently served as Chief Information Officer and Vice President for U.S. Technology. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Michelle spent 11 years with Walmart Stores holding various leadership roles including Vice President, International Technology Delivery. Throughout her career, Michelle has held various roles in store retail, distribution center operations, and process improvement.

Michelle will be a member of the Company’s Executive Committee and report to Bill Rhodes, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Customer Satisfaction.

“Michelle is a proven leader and innovator who brings a wealth of meaningful experience and expertise to our senior leadership team. She is well-positioned to build upon and accelerate our progress while effectively serving the organization and our customers for many years to come,” said Bill Rhodes.

About AutoZone:

As of February 13, 2021, the Company had 5,951 stores in the U.S., 628 stores in Mexico, and 46 stores in Brazil for a total store count of 6,625.

AutoZone is the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the Americas. Each AutoZone store carries an extensive product line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Many stores also have a commercial sales program that provides commercial credit and prompt delivery of parts and other products to local, regional and national repair garages, dealers, service stations and public sector accounts. We also have commercial programs in all stores in Mexico and Brazil. AutoZone also sells the ALLDATA brand diagnostic and repair software through and Additionally, we sell automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories and non-automotive products through and our commercial customers can make purchases through We also provide product information on our Duralast branded products through AutoZone does not derive revenue from automotive repair or installation.

Financial: Brian Campbell at (901) 495-7005, [email protected]
Media: David McKinney at (901) 495-7951, [email protected]



Automotive Parts Company

AutoZone logo.svg

AutoZone headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee

TypePublic company

Traded as

FoundedJuly 4, 1979; 42 years ago (1979-07-04) (as Auto Shack)
Forrest City, Arkansas, U.S.
FounderPitt Hyde
HeadquartersMemphis, Tennessee, U.S.

Number of locations


Area served

Key people

Pitt Hyde
William C. Rhodes III
(Chairman, President, & CEO)
William T. Giles
ProductsAutomotive parts and accessories
RevenueIncreaseUS$12.631 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended August 29, 2020)[1]

Operating income

IncreaseUS$2.417 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended August 29, 2020)[1]

Net income

IncreaseUS$1.732 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended August 29, 2020)[1]
Total assetsIncreaseUS$14.423 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended August 29, 2020)[1]
Total equityIncrease -US$877.977 Million (Fiscal Year Ended August 29, 2020)[1]

Number of employees

~87,000 (2017)
Footnotes / references

AutoZone, Inc. is an American retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories, the largest in the United States.[2] Founded in 1979, AutoZone has over 6,400 stores across the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil and the US Virgin Islands. The company is based in Memphis, Tennessee.[2][3]



Originally a division of Memphis-based wholesale grocer Malone & Hyde, the company was known as Auto Shack. After the sale of the grocery operation to the Fleming Companies of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the name of the company was changed to AutoZone to reflect the new focus and to settle a lawsuit brought by Tandy Corporation for infringing on Tandy's "Radio Shack" trademark.[4]

On July 4, 1979, the first store opened in Forrest City, Arkansas[5] under the name of Auto Shack.[6] Doc Crain was the store's first manager. Sales that first day totaled $300.00.[7]


In 1981, Express Parts or VDP is implemented to get the customers hard to find parts by special ordering them through wholesalers. Total stores was 73 in 7 states.

In 1984, the company became the first auto parts retailer to create a quality control program for its parts. Total stores was 194 in 13 states.

In 1985, Doc Crain coined the term WITTDTJR, which stands for "What it takes to do the job right." Total store count is 263 in 14 states. Peter Formanek stepped in as president. He oversaw the auto parts firm's daily operations and worked on growth strategy.[3]

By 1986, expansion had made the company grow into a large store chain across the South and the Midwest. That year, Darren Reltherford, manager of Auto Shack's Memphis, Tennessee store, received the first Extra Miler award, which has since been given to AutoZoners who show their dedication to customer satisfaction by "going the extra mile" for customer service. The Duralast line of alternators and starters is released. The Loan-A-Tool program begins allowing customers the ability to borrow specific tools for jobs. The 4th Distribution Center in Greenville, South Carolina opens. Total of stores is 339 in 15 states.

In 1987, Auto Shack officially changed its name to AutoZone.[6] The first AutoZone store was in Enid, Oklahoma. That year also, the company introduced WITT-JR, an electronic catalog used to look up parts and keep warranty information. Total of stores is now 459 in 16 states.

In 1989, the company began using a computerized store management system (SMS). The Duralast battery line is released consisting of Sub-Zero, Desert and long life. Total of stores is 513 in 17 states.


In 1991, its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol "AZO."[6] It opened up at $27.50 a share. The 5th DC opens in Lafayette, Louisiana. The company also became the first auto parts retailer to register customer warranties in a computer database.

In 1994, AutoZone began using satellites to facilitate communication between stores and the corporate office. Sales hit $1.5 billion.

In 1995, AutoZone opened its 1,000th store in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, the Duralast trademark made its debut with the Duralast and Duralast Gold batteries. Total of stores is now 1,143 in 26 states.[8]

1996 was the year when the Internet era arrived at the company, when AutoZone opened its company Web site. The new commercial program debuted in Germantown, Tennessee. ALLDATA, a software company based in Elk Grove, California that provides automotive diagnostic and repair information, was acquired.[9]

Company founder Pitt Hyde retired as chairman and CEO in 1997.[6] John Adams became the new chairman and CEO.

In 1998,[10][11] AutoZone acquired ADAP Inc. Who had stores under the ADAP Discount Auto Parts and Auto Palace nameplates respectively,[12] both being auto parts chains in the northeastern United States with 112 stores,[13][14] TruckPro L.P., a chain with 43 stores in 14 states, and the 560-store Chief Auto Parts Inc., a chain with a presence in 5 states.[15][16] At the commencement of fiscal 1999, AutoZone made another acquisition by purchasing 100 Express stores from The Pep Boys—Manny, Moe & Jack.[17] The company began a process of internationalization with their first store abroad, which opened in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.[18] AutoZone closed the 1990s by debuting at the Fortune 500 list in 1999.


Steve Odland became AutoZone's third CEO in 2001.[19] Also in 2001, AutoZone sold TruckPro to Paratus Capital Management.[20]

In 2002, AutoZone developed a network of "hub, feeder, and satellite" stores to have more product in the market area, while reducing inventory investment. Sales hit $5.33 billion.[21]

In 2003, the Duralast tool line was introduced. This was a year of important negotiations for AutoZone, as the company partnered with other important auto parts industry companies, such as CarMax and Midas. AutoZone de Mexico opens the first DC in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Total stores number 3,219 in 48 states and 49 in Mexico.[22] In 2004, founder J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.[23]

In 2005, William C. Rhodes III was named president and CEO. Steve Odland left to become the chairman and CEO of Office Depot.[24]

In 2007, Bill Rhodes, then 42, was named chairman, president and chief executive officer of AutoZone, Inc. on June 6.[25]

In 2008, AutoZone opened their 4,000th store in Houston, Texas. Sales hit $6.2 billion.[26][27]


On December 15, 2011, ALLDATA LLC, an operating unit of AutoZone, expanded its direct presence in Canada to better serve its growing customer base.[28][29]

On August 17, 2012, AutoZone expanded into their 49th state Alaska by opening their 5,000th store in Wasilla, Alaska

In 2012 AutoZone opened their first store in Brazil.[30]

In December 2012, AutoZone purchased, an ecommerce leader in aftermarket automotive parts based in San Diego, California.[30][31]

By April 2017, AutoZone had been the largest retailer of automotive parts in North America for three consecutive years.[32] As of August 2017, AutoZone had 5,465 locations in the United States, 524 locations in Mexico, and 46 locations in Brazil, for a total of 6,035.[2]

On October 22, 2018, Pitt Hyde announced that he would be stepping down from AutoZone's board of directors.[33]

Corporate affairs[edit]

AutoZone is incorporated in the state of Nevada.[2]


Since October 1995, AutoZone has been headquartered in its J.R. Hyde, III Store Support Center (SSC), a 270,000-square-foot (25,000 m2), eight-story building in DowntownMemphis, Tennessee.[34] As of 2013 there were over 1,200 employees there.[35]

The project manager of the building's construction was Rob Norcross, a principal at LRK Inc. The building has the capability to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake because it has a special base isolation system that had a price tag of $950,000.[34]

Private labels[edit]

Valucraft, Duralast, and Duralast Gold are AutoZone's private label brands for lead-acid automotive batteries (manufactured primarily by Johnson Controls, but also East Penn, Exide, and other manufacturers). Duralast Platinum is an AGM line of batteries. AutoZone also sells tools under the Duralast brand which carry a lifetime warranty.[36]

Brake pad labels include (ranging from least to most expensive):

  • Duralast - OEM-like performance; semi-metallic or organic.
  • Duralast Gold - OEM design and performance; semi-metallic or ceramic.
  • Duralast Max (in the process of being phased out) - superior to OEM design and performance; ceramic.
  • Duralast Elite (currently being introduced selectively by market) - superior to OEM design and performance; ceramic; copper-free.
  • Duralast GT Street - performance pads for select applications.

Valucraft pads are being phased out, as of early 2015. Duralast GT Street pads introduced early 2018.

The Valucraft, Duralast, and Duralast Gold names are used on various other parts and accessories as well.

Duralast Elite pads[37] were first trademarked [38] and began being introduced to select markets in early 2020.

Retail stores[edit]

AutoZone's 6,000+ retail outlets[5] throughout the United States, Mexico and Brazil stock a variety of aftermarket parts as well as some OEM parts. All AutoZone stores are corporately owned; the company does not have franchise operations.[39]


In 2004, AutoZone celebrated its 25th anniversary and announced a corporate sponsorship agreement with auto racing association NASCAR.

In 2007, AutoZone sponsored Kevin Harvick and Timothy Peters in the NASCAR Busch Series.[citation needed]

AutoZone holds the naming rights to the downtown Memphis baseball stadium that is the home of the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. The company also sponsors the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.[40] The AutoZone Liberty Bowl, alongside the College Football Playoff Foundation donated $250,136.03 to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.[41] The AutoZone Liberty Bowl awarded 2018's Distinguished Citizen Award to Priscilla Presley.[42]

They are an official sponsor of Bellator MMA, the world's second largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion.


AutoZone paid $3.3 million to settle a lawsuit to the families of a family who was killed due to being rear-ended by an AutoZone-owned truck. The suit alleges that AutoZone was negligent in training the driver of the truck.[43]

AutoZone faced a lawsuit for gender discrimination in which the plaintiff alleged that men treated her differently when she was promoted and that she feared revealing a pregnancy to her superior. When the pregnancy was discovered, she alleges that her district manager pressured her to step down from her position. She was demoted in February 2006 and fired in November 2011. The jury on the case ruled in 2014 in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her $185 million in punitive damages as well as approximately $873,000 in back wages. AutoZone has announced its intention to appeal the verdict.[44]The Wall Street Journal's Jacob Gershman suggested that the verdict would be scaled back, noting that the jury verdict is not the end-all be-all.[45]

A Georgia woman was fired after a customer insulted her and used multiple racial epithets against her. She alleges that the district manager told her to "suck it up," and she is filing a lawsuit against AutoZone for violating her civil rights.[46]

AutoZone came under fire from allegations that a district manager had told an employee to remove a flag displayed on the company's premises for the sake of improved diversity. AutoZone denies that and claimed that it was the poor means by which the flag was put up, with duct tape and suction cups.[47]

In June 2019 AutoZone entered into an $11 million settlement against with the State of California to resolve allegations that the company had violated state laws governing hazardous waste, hazardous materials, and confidential consumer information. AutoZone is charged with illegally disposing of millions of hazardous waste items, including used motor oil and automotive fluids, at landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste.[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abcde"AutoZone, Inc. 2020 Annual Report". 29 August 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  2. ^ abcde"US SEC: Form 10-K AutoZone, Inc". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. October 25, 2017.
  3. ^ ab"AutoZone co-founder, former president Peter Formanek has died". Memphis Commercial Appeal. 9 March 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  4. ^United States Court of Appeals, Sixth CircuitArchived November 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ abAutoZone, Inc. AutoZone Official Site
  6. ^ abcdEng, Dinah (August 12, 2013). "Putting AutoZone into Drive". Fortune. 168 (3): 17–18.
  7. ^"The AutoZone Story". AutoZone. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  8. ^"AutoZone, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Nov 27, 1996". Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  9. ^"AutoZone, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date May 20, 1996". Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  10. ^"AutoZone, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Jun 23, 1998". Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  11. ^"AutoZone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 2, 1998". Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  12. ^
  13. ^"AutoZone To Acquire Auto Palace". PRNewswire. January 14, 1998.
  14. ^"AutoZone continues growth with Auto Palace purchase". The Auto Channel. February 1998.
  15. ^O'Dell, John (May 12, 1998). "AutoZone to Acquire Car Parts Rival Chief". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^O'Dell, John (July 1, 1998). "AutoZone Purchase of Chief Auto Is Complete". Los Angeles Times.
  17. ^"AutoZone, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Nov 25, 1998". Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  18. ^"AutoZone, Form ARS, Filing Date Nov 2, 1998". Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  19. ^"AutoZone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 12, 2001"(PDF). Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  20. ^"AutoZone sells TruckPro division". 2001-12-20. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  21. ^"AutoZone, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Oct 31, 2002"(PDF). Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  22. ^"AutoZone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 31, 2003"(PDF). Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  23. ^"Automotive Hall of Fame: A night for legends". 2004-10-11. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  24. ^"AutoZone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Mar 14, 2005"(PDF). Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  25. ^"AutoZone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jun 7, 2007". Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  26. ^"AutoZone, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Oct 22, 2007"(PDF). Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  27. ^"AutoZone, Inc. - About Us".
  28. ^"ALLDATA Expands Its Presence in Canada". ALLDATA Automotive Intelligence. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  29. ^Zacks Equity Research (16 December 2011). "AutoZone Expands in Canada". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  30. ^ ab"AutoZone, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 4, 2012". EDGAR. SEC. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  31. ^"AutoZone, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Dec 13, 2012"(PDF). EDGAR. SEC. Retrieved Jan 18, 2013.
  32. ^Adams, Bruce (April 25, 2017). "AutoZone again claims No. 1 spot in Top 25 Auto Chain Report". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  33. ^"Pitt Hyde to step down from AutoZone board". Commercial Appeal. October 22, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  34. ^ ab"AutoZone HQ holds title as most earthquake-resistant Memphis building." Memphis Business Journal. May 13, 2011. Retrieved on December 6, 2014.
  35. ^"Store Support Center." AutoZone. Retrieved on June 4, 2013.
  36. ^"Duralast Tools". AutoZOne. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  37. ^"DURALAST ELITE™ BRAKES". Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  38. ^"Duralast Elite Application #90142313". USPTO Report. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  39. ^About Us: Our Company, Our Culture AutoZone Official Site
  40. ^"College Football Bowl Scene Changes, But AutoZone Liberty Bowl Endures".
  41. ^Van Tuyl, Chris (November 11, 2018). "St. Jude children's hospital, WINGS get generous donations". Commercial Appeal. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  42. ^Maxey, Ron (April 8, 2018). "Priscilla Presley named AutoZone Liberty Bowl's 2018 Distinguished Citizen". Commercial Appeal. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  43. ^Tepfer, Daniel (July 19, 2018). "AutoZone pays $3.3 million for Bridgeport family's deaths". CT Post. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  44. ^London, Christina; Nguyen, Candice (November 17, 2014). "AutoZone Ordered to Pay $185M in Discrimination Suit". NBC San Diego. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  45. ^Gershman, Jacob (November 19, 2014). "$186 Million AutoZone Verdict is Eye-Opening, but Unlikely to Stick". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  46. ^Northam, Mitchell (January 24, 2018). "AutoZone worker: Customer unleashed racist tirade — and I got fired". AJC. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  47. ^Lacapria, Kim (September 2, 2016). "AutoZone Flag Removal". Snopes. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  48. ^Becerra, Xavier (June 18, 2019). "Attorney General Becerra Announces $11 Million Settlement against AutoZone for Illegal Disposal of Hazardous Waste Statewide". California Attorney General. Retrieved June 19, 2019.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to AutoZone.

Coordinates: 35°08′32″N90°03′22″W / 35.14231°N 90.05614°W / 35.14231; -90.05614

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AutoZone coming to Chelsea

Chelsea will soon be home to another automotive store. Retailer AutoZone recently presented a site plan and Overlay District Review.

Mayor Tony Picklseimer said that he hopes by having two choices in the city that will draw more people from out of town and increase sales for the city as a whole.

The store will be located next to Taco Bell on the westbound side of U.S. 280 on 1.16 acres. AutoZone has been around since 1979 and has over 6,300 stores across the United States, Mexico and Brazil and is based in Memphis, Tennessee.

“We have been working on this for almost a year,” said Picklesimer. “They signed a contract with a due diligence period in it to look at what the construction of the site required. We had to work out right of way driveway usage. There were a lot of people involved. It takes a lot of players to put something like this together.”

The roadway that runs in front of that spot, along with Taco Bell and McDonald’s, is considered a service road. City engineer Keith Hager said the county would want to minimize the number of places it intersects with 280, so there would not be an additional way to enter the store from the highway.

The store will meet the requirements of the city’s overlay district and feature a brick and stucco storefront. Hager said the only thing that needed to be changed in the plans was to decrease the height of exterior poles to 14 feet, which is the limit. They were originally set at 20 feet.

The closest AutoZone locations to Chelsea are on U.S. 280 in Inverness and on Pelham Parkway in Pelham. Picklesimer said ground could be broken as early as October 1 and the store open in early 2021.

Doing A Simple Tune Up - Car Tune Up - AutoZone

AutoZone coming to Allentown’s Lehigh Street

By Jon Harris

The Morning Call|

Jan 06, 2021 at 6:00 AM

AutoZone appears to be headed to the Lehigh Street auto mile, but the auto parts retailer is staying as quiet as an electric car about the news.

Company officials have not responded to several inquiries over the last couple of weeks, but the building at 2919 Lehigh St. is being converted into an AutoZone, Allentown spokesperson Mike Moore confirmed.

Moore noted Illinois firm Hanna Design Group Inc. submitted a zoning application and received a permit for the work. Renovations are ongoing at the roughly 39,000-square-foot building that formerly housed Bottom Dollar and Gold’s Gym, with exterior gray paint and AutoZone’s familiar orange stripe visible to motorists whizzing by.

Further, several jobs are listed on AutoZone’s website for 2919 Lehigh St., including manager trainee, auto parts delivery driver, retail sales associate, shift supervisor and commercial sales manager.

The property — owned by Robert and Ellen Beller of North Carolina, records show — has been underused in recent years. The Bellers could not be reached to comment Tuesday.

AutoZone, which reported same-store sales growth of more than 12% in its most recent quarter, has continued to add locations, opening 39 U.S. stores and two in Brazil in its first quarter ended Nov. 21.

The average size of a standard AutoZone store is 6,643 square feet, according to the company’s annual report. The Lehigh Street building is much larger and, as such, it’s unclear what AutoZone is planning there.

One possibility could be a hub or mega-hub, a concept AutoZone has been aggressively expanding. Hubs and mega-hubs use 70%-85% of their space for hard parts, an inventory area that is fronted by counters that run the length of the store, according to the company’s annual report. In addition, a mega-hub carries 70,000-110,000 items — roughly twice what a hub store carries — and can deliver to surrounding AutoZone stores multiple times a day, the report notes.

AutoZone has more than 10 stores in the Lehigh Valley area.

For its fiscal year ended Aug. 29, AutoZone had 44 domestic mega-hubs, up nine from the prior year.

A part of the Lehigh Street building most recently housed an 18,000-square-foot Gold’s Gym, which permanently closed July 17. Gold’s Gym said at the time the company was “unable to come to agreement with our landlord during this unprecedented situation for small-business owners.”

Gold’s Gym shared the building with Bottom Dollar, the defunct discount grocery chain that was sold to Aldi Inc. in 2015.

As part of Aldi’s $15 million purchase of 66 Bottom Dollar assets from Belgium-based Delhaize Group, the German grocer opened three stores in the Lehigh Valley region at shuttered Bottom Dollar sites. The chain decided to sell, sublease or designate for assignment the seven remaining Bottom Dollar stores in the area, including the one at Lehigh Street.

Aldi is no longer involved with the Lehigh Street property, confirmed Derek Pierce, director of real estate for Aldi’s Center Valley division.

Business Buzz Newsletter


The daily update for the Lehigh Valley business person.

Silbert Realty & Management Co. Inc., a Somerset County, New Jersey, real estate firm that is handling leasing for the Lehigh Street property, did not return several calls seeking comment.

The company’s online posting for the property says “lease pending,” listing the only availability as the 1,500-square-foot former Papa John’s space next to longtime beer distributor Beerco.

Silbert’s brochure notes the entire Lehigh Street property, which covers about 5.5 acres, has enough parking for about 350 vehicles and is close to the auto mile.

AutoZone, a publicly traded company based in Memphis, Tennessee, has more than 5,900 locations across the country. In its most recently completed fiscal year, AutoZone recorded sales of $12.6 billion, a 6.5% jump from the prior year.

AutoZone is planning a new location at 2919 Lehigh St. in Allentown, a building that formerly housed Gold's Gym and Bottom Dollar.

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Working at AutoZone: Delivery Driver


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