Automotive businesses merge in Poplar Bluff

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Business Today

POPLAR BLUFF -- In March, Bailey's Glass at 1138 Vine Street moved into the Bailey's Auto Body building at 624 South Westwood Boulevard, and the two have merged into Bailey's Auto Body and Glass.

"When we built this building in 1998 it was designed to have the glass shop here," said owner Jim Bailey.

The 16,000-square-foot shop has 30 bays, three of which are used by the glass shop.

Bailey said when he moved into the new auto body building in 1998, he was focused on the growth spurt the business received.

"Now that it's under control, I decided to bring the glass shop here," he said. "We have around 250 windshields in stock at all times. We have a large inventory of mirrors, clear glass of all types and thickness."

Bailey's Auto Body and Glass has 20 employees, five of whom work at the glass shop.

"Fifty percent of the glass business is auto glass repairs, the rest is flat glass work, such as table tops, mirrors, and windows," Bailey said. "We also provide mobile service work for automotive windshields and for our flat glass customers."

When Bailey opened the auto body shop in 1983, he worked on 15 to 20 cars a month. The seven body and paint technicians the business now employees work on 2,500 vehicles a year.

For the past 10 years, 90 percent of Bailey's body shop business has come through insurance companies from Bailey's Auto Body being designated as a direct repair contractor.

"That means if someone has an accident, they don't have to get estimates from different businesses to compare prices," Bailey said. "We are authorized by major insurance companies to do the repairs in accordance with ICAR and industry standards relative to that vehicle. Then we submit a final bill with documentation and photos for payment on the work performed."

In his spare time, Bailey restores antique gas pumps and collects die-cast model cars.

"I like collecting antique gas pumps and I have a pretty large selection of die-cast cars that are on display in the main showroom that customers really like," Bailey said. "I started restoring old gas pumps five years ago. It's interesting to take a 90-year-old gas pump and make it look new again. I've probably done eight by now. I've sold a couple and have five here."

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