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PHILADELPHIA-Though its 2008 fiscal year results were less than desired, Pep Boys is planning to roll out two new concepts this year–smaller service-oriented stores and store-within-a-store areas that focus on “performance” vehicles, such as muscle cars, certain imports and trucks.

The company opened its first service store this quarter in Ventura, CA, with plans to open 15 more this year and an additional 20 to 40 units in 2010. Management said during its fourth-quarter conference call that it will look to lease existing spaces with car bays to fuel the expansion, as opposed to constructing new locations.

The “performance” sections in stores will debut this month in a Los Angeles store as a test to see “which elements have applicability for broader parts of the chain,” said Mike Odell, Pep Boys’ chief executive officer. Performance areas will not get added to all 562 units the chain operates but should have a presence in every major market in which the retailer is located, he said. Additionally, every store is planned to start servicing hybrid cars by the end of the year.

The company’s overall store count ended at 562 units during its fiscal year, the same as it was when the period started. During the fourth quarter, Pep Boys posted a net loss of just under $33.3 million, while sale dropped to $465.5 million compared to $517.6 million during the same year-ago period.

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