After selling performance auto parts in Ontario for 58 years, family-owned and operated Performance Improvements Speed Shops to close all locations after one last “clear-out” sale.
When Performance Improvements was started in 1964 by Bob and Susan McJannett, the goal was to make $50 a month selling car parts to cover the rent. Instead, the McJannetts managed to grow that tiny location into a chain of stores, creating one of Canada’s best small businesses and culminating in Bob’s induction into the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) Hall of Fame in 2003.
September 30, 2022, will be the last day of regular operations at the Toronto, Barrie and Hamilton locations before they close their doors for the last time.
“This is not a sad story. We’re proud of what we’ve done, our contributions to the local automotive community,” Andy McJannett, President, reflects. “After almost 60 years, we can sit back and say hey, we helped a lot of people improve their cars while helping so many employees over the years at the same time.”
Andy is one of Bob and Susan McJannett’s two sons. The couple started selling auto parts part-time on the Queensway in Etobicoke in 1964. Early success allowed Bob to quit his job and work at the store full time. Eventually, they expanded into warehouse distribution, supplying other speed shops with performance parts across Ontario. Over the decades, the company grew by leaps and bounds, turning into a chain of stores across southern Ontario and Quebec.
Changing market conditions meant what was once a chain of nine stores contracted down to three locations, plus their website PerformanceImprovements.com. The brothers jointly decided it was time to make a difficult decision.
“After losing our mom a few years ago and our dad this June, my brother and I have been forced to reckon with how short life is and how it can change in an instant,” said Rob McJannett, Vice President. “While we were born into this life, working in our parents’ literal dream job, it was never truly our dream. It’s time to move on.”
Performance Improvements is known for its extensive inventory of performance auto parts and counter guys who can knowledgeably tell you how to install them. A former highlight was their annual Midnight Madness Sale–opening the doors at midnight with the lowest prices of the year. One year, the crowd was so large that a customer’s pregnant wife fainted. Rather than lose his place in line, he had those behind him “crowd surf” her outside for fresh air!
A bonanza for auto enthusiasts
The end of Performance Improvements could be a bonanza for automotive enthusiasts and car nuts alike. The stores still have a huge inventory, and they’d rather sell it than move it with a going-out-of-business sale. It starts now with discounts ranging up to 25%. “Absolutely everything must go, performance auto parts and fixtures included,” said Andy McJannett. Discounts will increase each week until the stores close for the final time on September 30.
“We’d like to thank our customers and the automotive community for their continued support over the years,” adds Rob McJannett, “And we appreciate the loyalty and dedication of our employees.” The Performance Improvements Clearance Sale Has started!