Uni-Select Canada Inc. has entered into a strategic agreement with Colonial Garage & Distributors Limited and its affiliated companies (Colonial Group) that will see the Newfoundland based organization become part of the Bumper to Bumper network of independent businesses.
The Colonial Group, a family owned and operated business, established almost 100 years ago, has grown to become the largest privately owned aftermarket auto parts supplier in Atlantic Canada, with 20 locations located in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Colonial’s strong reputation in the market has been driven by the dedication of its over 150 employees focused on delivering outstanding customer service and support.
“With its extensive warehouse network and strong vendor relationships, Uni-Select offers us the scalability we have been missing to expand and grow our business to the next level. We have been thoroughly impressed by the knowledge, professionalism, and flexibility of Uni-Select’s senior leadership team,” shared Douglas Squires, the Colonial Group president.
“After being a shareholder in a competitive network of independent wholesalers for over 55 years, we are excited by the opportunities provided to our group of companies and look forward to a bright and exciting future.”
In the coming months, Colonial Group stores in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador will be converted to the Bumper to Bumper banner program, while also keeping their own identity and name, which are well known in the local market. The Uni-Select team and the Colonial Group family are looking forward to working together to ensure a successful launch.
“We are pleased to welcome Colonial, a family business, as a new independent member in the Atlantic region of Canada. This new and very promising agreement with the Colonial Group, with whom we share the same values, will allow us to consolidate our presence in the Atlantic Provinces and complement our current members in the region,” said Emilie Gaudet, President and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Automotive Group
“This partnership with Colonial represents our first agreement with a major independent member in the last decade and represents our commitment to our strategy of building and strengthening relationships with our Canadian members,” added Brian McManus, Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Uni‑Select Inc.
ABOUT THE COLONIAL GROUP
Colonial Garage & Distributors Limited was founded in 1926 by Gordon Elton as a service and gas station and slowly expanded to importing parts from Canada to meet the growing needs of the Newfoundland motoring public. In the 1950’s, Gordon’s two sons, Doug and Bill Elton, took over daily operations and opened a body shop and a machine shop, followed by a radiator fabrication facility.
Until the 1970’s, Colonial serviced the auto parts needs of the island of Newfoundland from its location in St. John’s. In 1974, Colonial opened its first branch in Corner Brook, NL, followed in the early 1980’s with locations in Grand Falls, NL, and Sydney, NS. During the 1990’s, Colonial added a further eight locations, then expanded to add two more in the 2000’s. In 2006, New Brunswick-based A.P.M. Limited, established in 1941, was acquired as an associated company, adding six locations in New Brunswick and one in Nova Scotia to the Colonial Group’s total store count.
The Colonial Group remains a family business to this day, with majority ownership held by family members Susan Elton Squires, Gillian Elton, and Douglas Squires. The executive management team is comprised of President Douglas Squires, CPA; Vice President – Operations Philip Murphy, MBA and Chief Financial Officer Susan Elton Squires, CPA. The Colonial Group operates under the trade names of Colonial Auto Parts, A.P.M. Limited, C.B. Auto Supplies and Sydney Auto Parts.
With over 5,000 employees in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., Uni-Select Inc. is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial coatings and related products in North America, as well as a leader in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada and in the U.K. Uni-Select is headquartered in Boucherville, Québec, Canada, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol UNS.
In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops and more than 4,000 shops through its automotive repair/installer shop banners and automotive refinish banners. Its national network includes over 1,000 independent customer locations and more than 80 company-operated stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select BUMPER TO BUMPER®, AUTO PARTS PLUS® and FINISHMASTER® store banner programs. www.uniselect.com