Retail Spotlight: Pur Performance
Making the Decades Count
Serving the St. Charles, Missouri, area, the Pur Performance retail store is 25,000 sq. ft. and carries roughly $750,000 in available inventory.
Kevin Shine has served St. Charles, Missouri, with automotive knowledge and experience for more than 30 years. He is proud to say that he has reached a point in his career deep enough to accommodate three generations of customers.
“I now have the grandchildren of some of my original customers coming into the shop for help, which I love to see,” Shine explained.
The consistent, loyal customer base Shine has built over the decades is a testament to the full-service facility that is his retail shop, Pur Performance. SEMA News spoke with Shine to learn about Pur Performance’s unique story of growth and prosperity as Shine navigated many of the highs and lows associated with owning and operating a retail facility.
SEMA News: Tell us how Pur Performance first came into existence.
Kevin Shine: Everything started around 1978 or 1979. My father owned a Shell gasoline station in St. Charles, Missouri, and I was one of its employees. Working at the station was my point of access into the automotive industry, and I immediately started to sell truck and off-road products in the area. Eventually, that led to me purchasing a facility, which, ironically enough, was a former gas station, too.
It was a modest, two-bay, 1,000-sq.-ft. facility with retail floor space and an installation center. Because St. Charles really did serve as Missouri’s first capitol, we named the shop First Capitol 4WD. That shop treated us well over the years and was the place we were able to grow in reputation, product selection and level of customer service.
Wheels and tires make up a significant portion of what Pur Performance sells, including a majority of truck and off-road wheels.
SN: After establishing First Capitol 4WD, what turning points led to the development of Pur Performance?
KS: The 1,000-sq.-ft. space was not nearly enough in terms of what we wanted to offer our customers. Over time, people began to know us by name and how we treated our customers, so we needed a usable facility to fully accommodate everything. In 2002, we decided that a newer, bigger facility was necessary. So, we purchased a 25,000-sq.-ft. building, complete with a 10-bay installation center and extensive retail floor space. One of my favorite pieces about the property is that it spans three acres, making car shows on weekends and other fun activities a possibility.
Today, we operate out of that same bigger facility under the name Pur Performance. After the expansion, we added thousands of dollars in racing and performance parts, so we felt that our company name needed to expand beyond the 4WD truck category.
SN: What does Pur Performance function as today?
Pur Performance owner Kevin Shine estimates that the store adds $50,000–$75,000 in new inventory each year.
KS: We have made some serious changes and additions to make Pur Performance the best it has ever been. I would say that we add somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000 in inventory each year, spanning across several niches. The majority of our sales still come from truck parts—we sell a lot of leveling and lift kits. What is unique about our facility is that our installation area is an option, so customers can buy a product with us and have it installed. Our other big seller is wheels and tires; our inventory is fairly large to accommodate the different types of vehicles.
Because we carry a selection of performance parts in addition to the most popular truck and four-wheel parts, it is not uncommon to see a Porsche or other sports car directly next to an F-350 at our facility. We really do cater to a wide audience, and our customers know that.
SN: What are a few best business practices that Pur Performance adheres to?
KS: Being in business for so many years, you learn a thing or two about making customers happy. As I said, we are serving generations of family members who stick around for a reason. The way we do business is honest and just. If something wasn’t done correctly the first time, we make sure that the job gets done, regardless of what it takes to do so. Paying to flatbed in a customer’s car or replacing parts at no expense—we do everything we can to make sure the job is done right.
The crown jewel of Pur Performance is its 10-bay installation center, ready for window tinting, product installation and other services.
Besides that, I would say that we understand our customer base well and make the process of purchasing and installation an easy one. Our website shows everything we offer and whether or not it is in stock, so it is easy to look ahead of time and track what parts are needed. The SEMA Data Co-op manages our online inventory, so it runs pretty seamlessly and is a feature that customers really appreciate.
Looking Toward the Future
Pur Performance has stood the test of time in its region as the go-to place for parts and accessories. Its story is a direct reflection of what makes the specialty-equipment industry so great to begin with: a loyalty to small business, which defines itself by the customers that it serves. Kevin Shine and his team are looking forward to a future filled with new challenges, keeping in mind the business practices that got them to the position of success they are in.
For more information on Pur Performance, call 636-352-2045 or visit the company’s website at www.purperformance.com.