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A Letter to our Team Members

 By AAP Executive Committee


Across America, we are witnessing countless tragic events unfold before our very eyes, and it is causing extraordinary pain. On May 25 and in the days that followed, our entire nation watched in horror as an African American man in handcuffs named George Floyd was murdered by a white law enforcement officer on the streets of Minneapolis. This unthinkable event happened just weeks after a 26-year old emergency medical technician named Breonna Taylor was shot and killed after police officers broke into her apartment. And it happened on the heels of an unarmed 25-year old African American man named Ahmaud Arbery being gunned down by two white assailants in the middle of a street in Georgia. These are not isolated incidents. They are just a few of many senseless tragedies that have taken place, and they are a gruesome reminder that hate, discrimination and injustice still exist in our communities today.

Let us be clear. To all our African American colleagues, friends and families, we share your pain, and your lives matter.

A few years ago, we set out to enact transformational change both in our performance and our culture. As a nearly 90-year old company, there were certain values that we felt were important to keep. Yet there were some elements of our culture that needed to change and had to evolve in order for us to achieve our long term goals. We knew that while culture could not simply change overnight, culture was something that together, we could evolve over time.

With your help, we knew we could build Advance as a company that stands apart from other companies. A company with a strong and well-defined culture that is centered around a set of Cultural Beliefs and Core Values that everyone, regardless of level or title would come to know, accept and demonstrate. We created our Cultural Beliefs with input from a large number of Team Members across AAP. Team Members with different backgrounds who represented a variety of job functions and geographies. We encouraged transparency and open dialogue with these Team Members because we wanted our Cultural Beliefs to incorporate their ideas and perspectives, reflective of the diversity of our people who work here and the Customer base and communities we serve. We wanted it to be an inclusive process, one that truly represented the voices of Team Members across the company.

Among these Cultural Beliefs is Champion Inclusion: I embrace diversity of people, thoughts, skills, and styles to deliver results. Champion Inclusion at Advance means we enable every Team Member to live up to his or her full potential and showcase his or her own unique skillsets and passions. The addition of Champion Inclusion in our final set of Cultural Beliefs was non-negotiable for us as a senior leadership team.

As we watch the civil unrest and demonstrations unfold across the country, we ask each of you to recommit to the Cultural Beliefs we share. Demonstrate our inclusive culture through the conversations you have, the viewpoints you share and the actions you take. As individuals and as a company, stand up against intolerance and racism. Continue to conduct business with integrity and interact with fellow Team Members, Customers, Suppliers and other partners in a respectful and professional way. At Advance, we will not tolerate any behavior to the contrary.

In the days and weeks ahead, you have our full commitment that we will continue to monitor what is happening on the ground, and we will always put the safety and wellbeing of our Team Members, Customers and community first. In areas where it is unsafe to operate, we will modify our hours and/or close our locations to ensure our Team Members and Customers are safe. Team Members working in impacted locations will continue to receive full pay and benefits.

At a time when emotions are running high and the feelings are so raw, it’s difficult to comprehend how we heal as a nation. No matter what happens, as we move forward, we know our entire Advance family will continue to do what we do best – care for each other and our Customers so we can do our part to keep the country moving. We are grateful for each of you for the work you’ve done to build the culture we have in place today. Thanks to you, Advance is a special place for our Team Members to work and our Customers to shop. Let’s keep going; we will get through this together.




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