Component: (Network and Table)
2202201 - Disclosure - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
Slicers (applies to each fact value in each table cell)
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]Period [Axis]
2012-01-01 - 2012-12-29
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]
Fiscal Period, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Accounting Period

The Company's fiscal year ends on the Saturday nearest the end of December, which results in an extra week every several years (the next 53 week fiscal year is 2014).
Consolidation, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Principles of Consolidation

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Advance and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
Use of Estimates, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ materially from those estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Cash, Cash Equivalents and Bank Overdrafts

Cash and cash equivalents consist of cash in banks and money market funds with original maturities of three months or less. Included in cash equivalents are credit card and debit card receivables from banks, which generally settle within two to four business days. Credit and debit card receivables included in Cash and cash equivalents at December 29, 2012 and December 31, 2011 were $26,738 and $27,456, respectively. Bank overdrafts consist of outstanding checks not yet presented to a bank for settlement, net of cash held in accounts with right of offset. Bank overdrafts of $8,722 and $16,181 are included in Other current liabilities at December 29, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.
Receivables, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Receivables, net consist primarily of accounts receivables from vendors and commercial customers. Vendor receivables are recorded based on amounts owed by the Company's suppliers as provided in incentive agreements and other overall terms of the Company's purchase agreements. The Company provides an allowance for doubtful accounts based upon factors related to the credit risk of specific customers or vendors, historical payment trends, current economic conditions and other relevant information regarding the debtor's ability to pay. The Company has historically extended credit to certain Commercial customers through a third-party provider of private label credit cards. Receivables under the private label credit card program were transferred to a third-party provider with the majority under no recourse.
During Fiscal 2012, the Company in-sourced its commercial credit function. This initiative consisted of the transition from using a third party financial institution to settle credit transactions with its Commercial customers to processing those transactions internally, thus increasing the trade receivable balance during the current year. The Company's concentration of credit risk with respect to trade receivables is limited because the Company's customer base consists of a large number of customers with relatively small balances, which allows the credit risk to be spread across a broad base. The Company also mitigates its exposure to credit risk through a credit approval process including, credit checks, pre-determined credit limits and accounts receivable and credit monitoring procedures.
Inventory, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Inventory amounts are stated at the lower of cost or market. The cost of the Company's merchandise inventory is determined using the last-in, first-out ("LIFO") method. Under the LIFO method, the Company's cost of sales reflects the costs of the most recently purchased inventories, while the inventory carrying balance represents the costs relating to prices paid in prior years.
vendor incentives [Policy Text Block]
Vendor Incentives

The Company receives incentives in the form of reductions to amounts owed and/or payments from vendors related to cooperative advertising allowances, volume rebates and other promotional considerations. Many of these incentives are under long-term agreements (terms in excess of one year), while others are negotiated on an annual basis or less (short-term). Volume rebates and cooperative advertising allowances not offsetting in selling, general and administrative expenses, or SG&A, are earned based on inventory purchases and initially recorded as a reduction to inventory. These deferred amounts are included as a reduction to cost of sales as the inventory is sold. Cooperative advertising allowances provided as a reimbursement of specific, incremental and identifiable costs incurred to promote a vendor's products are included as an offset to SG&A when the cost is incurred. Total deferred vendor incentives included as a reduction of Inventory was $102,975 and $82,660 at December 29, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

Similarly, the Company recognizes other promotional incentives earned under long-term agreements as a reduction to cost of sales. However, these incentives are recognized based on the cumulative net purchases as a percentage of total estimated net purchases over the life of the agreement. Short-term incentives (terms less than one year) are generally recognized as a reduction to cost of sales over the duration of any short-term agreements.

Amounts received or receivable from vendors that are not yet earned are reflected as deferred revenue in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Management's estimate of the portion of deferred revenue that will be realized within one year of the balance sheet date has been included in Other current liabilities in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Earned amounts that are receivable from vendors are included in Receivables, net except for that portion expected to be received after one year, which is included in Other assets, net on the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.
Preopening Expenses [Policy Text Block]
Preopening Expenses

Preopening expenses, which consist primarily of payroll and occupancy costs related to the opening of new stores, are expensed as incurred.
Income Tax, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Income Taxes

The Company accounts for income taxes under the asset and liability method which requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the financial statements. Under the asset and liability method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the differences between the financial statements and tax basis of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. The effect of a change in tax rates on deferred tax assets and liabilities is recognized in income in the period of the enactment date.

The Company recognizes tax benefits and/or tax liabilities for uncertain income tax positions based on a two-step process. The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if the weight of available evidence indicates that it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes, if any. The second step requires the Company to estimate and measure the tax benefit as the largest amount that is more than 50% likely to be realized upon ultimate settlement. It is inherently difficult and subjective to estimate such amounts, as the Company must determine the probability of various possible outcomes.

The Company reevaluates these uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis or when new information becomes available to management. The reevaluations are based on many factors, including but not limited to, changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, successfully settled issues under audit, expirations due to statutes of limitations, and new federal or state audit activity. Any change in either the Company's recognition or measurement could result in the recognition of a tax benefit or an increase to the tax accrual. 

The Company also follows guidance provided on derecognition of benefits, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods, disclosure and transition.  Refer to Note 14 for a further discussion of income taxes.
Advertising Cost, Policy, Expensed Advertising Cost [Policy Text Block]
Advertising Costs

The Company expenses advertising costs as incurred. Advertising expense, net of vendor promotional funds, was $83,871, $84,656 and $78,809 in Fiscal 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Vendor promotional funds, which reduced advertising expense, amounted to $11,445 and $4,609 in Fiscal 2012 and 2011. Prior to Fiscal 2011, the Company received no vendor promotional funds to reduce advertising expense.
Self-Insurance [Policy Text Block]

The Company is self-insured for general and automobile liability, workers' compensation and health care claims of its employees, or Team Members, while maintaining stop-loss coverage with third-party insurers to limit its total liability exposure. Expenses associated with these liabilities are calculated for (i) claims filed, (ii) claims incurred but not yet reported and (iii) projected future claims using actuarial methods followed in the insurance industry as well as the Company's historical claims experience. The Company includes the current and long-term portions of its self-insurance reserve in Accrued expenses and Other long-term liabilities, respectively.
Standard Product Warranty, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Warranty Liabilities

The warranty obligation on the majority of merchandise sold by the Company with a manufacturer's warranty is the responsibility of the Company's vendors.  However, the Company has an obligation to provide customers free replacement of certain merchandise or merchandise at a prorated cost if under a warranty and not covered by the manufacturer. Merchandise sold with warranty coverage by the Company primarily includes batteries but may also include other parts such as brakes and shocks. The Company estimates its warranty obligation at the time of sale based on the historical return experience, sales level and cost of the respective product sold. To the extent vendors provide upfront allowances in lieu of accepting the obligation for warranty claims and the allowance is in excess of the related warranty expense, the excess is recorded as a reduction to cost of sales.
Revenue Recognition, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Revenue Recognition

The Company recognizes revenue at the time the sale is made, at which time the Company's walk-in customers take immediate possession of the merchandise or same-day delivery is made to the Company's commercial delivery customers. For e-commerce sales, revenue is recognized either at the time of pick-up at one of the Company's store locations or at the time of shipment depending on the customer's order designation. Sales are recorded net of discounts, sales taxes and estimated allowances. The Company estimates returns based on current sales levels and the Company's historical return experience. The Company's reserve for sales returns and allowances was not material at December 29, 2012 and December 31, 2011.

Share-based Compensation, Option and Incentive Plans Policy [Policy Text Block]
Share-Based Payments

The Company provides share-based compensation to its Team Members and board of directors. The Company is required to exercise judgment and make estimates when determining the projected (i) fair value of each award granted and (ii) number of awards expected to vest. The Company calculates the fair value of all share-based awards at the date of grant and uses the straight-line method to amortize this fair value as compensation cost over the requisite service period.
Derivatives, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities
The Company's accounting policy for derivative financial instruments is based on whether the instruments meet the criteria for designation as cash flow or fair value hedges. The criteria for designating a derivative as a hedge include the assessment of the instrument's effectiveness in risk reduction, matching of the derivative instrument to its underlying transaction and the probability that the underlying transaction will occur. For derivatives with cash flow hedge designation, the Company reports the after-tax gain or loss from the effective portion of the hedge as a component of Accumulated other income (loss) and reclassifies it into earnings in the same period or periods in which the hedged transaction affects earnings, and within the same income statement line item as the impact of the hedged transaction. For derivatives with fair value hedge accounting designation, the Company would recognize gains or losses from the change in the fair value of these derivatives, as well as the offsetting change in the fair value of the underlying hedged item, in earnings.
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Policy Text Block]
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)

The purpose of reporting Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) is to report a measure of all changes in equity of an enterprise that result from transactions and other economic events of the period. The changes in accumulated other comprehensive income refer to revenues, expenses, gains, and losses that are included in other comprehensive income but excluded from net income.

The Company's Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) is comprised of the unamortized portion of the previously recorded unrecognized gains or loss on interest rate swaps and forward treasury rate locks and the net unrealized gain associated with the Company's postretirement benefit plan.
Goodwill and Intangible Assets, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets

Goodwill is the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of identifiable net assets acquired in business combinations accounted for under the purchase method. The Company tests goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment annually as of the first day of the fiscal fourth quarter, or when indications of potential impairment exist. These indicators would include a significant change in operating performance, the business climate, legal factors, competition, or a planned sale or disposition of a significant portion of the business, among other factors.

Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Valuation of Long-Lived Assets

The Company evaluates the recoverability of its long-lived assets whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset might not be recoverable and exceeds its fair value.

Significant factors, which would trigger an impairment review, include the following:

Significant decrease in the market price of a long-lived asset (asset group);
Significant changes in how assets are used or are planned to be used;
Significant adverse change in legal factors or business climate, including adverse regulatory action;
Significant negative industry trends;
An accumulation of costs significantly in excess of the amount originally expected for the acquisition or construction of a long-lived asset (asset group);
Significant changes in technology;
A current-period operating or cash flow loss combined with a history of operating or cash flow losses, or a projection or forecast that demonstrates continuing losses associated with the use of a long-lived asset (asset group); or
A current expectation that, more likely than not, a long-lived asset (asset group) will be sold or otherwise disposed of significantly before the end of its previously estimated useful life.

When such an event occurs, the Company estimates the undiscounted future cash flows expected to result from the use of the long-lived asset (asset group) and its eventual disposition. These impairment evaluations involve estimates of asset useful lives and future cash flows. If the undiscounted expected future cash flows are less than the carrying amount of the asset and the carrying amount of the asset exceeds its fair value, an impairment loss is recognized. When an impairment loss is recognized, the carrying amount of the asset is reduced to its estimated fair value based on quoted market prices or other valuation techniques (e.g., discounted cash flow analysis).
Earnings Per Share, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Earnings per Share

The Company uses the two-class method to calculate earnings per share. Under the two-class method, unvested share-based payment awards that contain non-forfeitable rights to dividends or dividend equivalents (whether paid or unpaid) are considered participating securities and are included in the computation of earnings per share. Certain of the Company's shares granted to Team Members in the form of restricted stock and restricted stock units are considered participating securities.

Accordingly, earnings per share is computed by dividing net income attributable to the Company's common shareholders by the weighted-average common shares outstanding during the period. The two-class method is an earnings allocation formula that determines income per share for each class of common stock and participating security according to dividends declared and participation rights in undistributed earnings. Diluted income per common share reflects the more dilutive earnings per share amount calculated using the treasury stock method or the two-class method.

Basic earnings per share of common stock has been computed based on the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the period, which is reduced by stock held in treasury and shares of nonvested restricted stock. Diluted earnings per share of common stock reflects the weighted-average number of shares of common stock outstanding, outstanding deferred stock units and the impact of outstanding stock options and stock appreciation rights (collectively “share-based awards”). Share-based awards containing performance conditions are included in the dilution impact as those conditions are met. Diluted earnings per share are calculated by including the effect of dilutive securities.

Lease, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Lease Accounting

The Company leases certain store locations, distribution centers, office space, equipment and vehicles. Initial terms for facility leases are typically 10 to 15 years, with renewal options at five year intervals, and may include rent escalation clauses. The total amount of the minimum rent is expensed on a straight-line basis over the initial term of the lease unless external economic factors exist or become existent such that renewals are reasonably assured, in which case the Company would include the renewal period in its amortization period. In those instances, the renewal period would be included in the lease term for purposes of establishing an amortization period and determining if such lease qualified as a capital or operating lease. In addition to minimum fixed rental payments, some leases provide for contingent facility rentals. Contingent facility rentals are determined on the basis of a percentage of sales in excess of stipulated minimums for certain store facilities as defined in the individual lease agreements. Most of the leases provide that the Company pay taxes, maintenance, insurance and certain other expenses applicable to the leased premises. Management expects that in the normal course of business leases that expire will be renewed or replaced by other leases.
Property, Plant and Equipment, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Property and Equipment

Property and equipment are stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation. Expenditures for maintenance and repairs are charged directly to expense when incurred; major improvements are capitalized. When items are sold or retired, the related cost and accumulated depreciation are removed from the account balances, with any gain or loss reflected in the consolidated statements of operations.

Depreciation of land improvements, buildings, furniture, fixtures and equipment, and vehicles is provided over the estimated useful lives, which range from 2 to 40 years, of the respective assets using the straight-line method. Depreciation of building and leasehold improvements is provided over the shorter of the original useful lives of the respective assets or the term of the lease using the straight-line method.
Closed Store Liabilities [Policy Text Block]
Closed Store Liabilities

The Company continually reviews the operating performance of its existing store locations and closes or relocates certain stores identified as underperforming or delivering strategically or financially unacceptable results. Expenses pertaining to closed store exit activities are included in the Company's closed store liabilities. Closed store liabilities include the present value of the remaining lease obligations and management's estimate of future costs of insurance, property tax and common area maintenance expenses (reduced by the present value of estimated revenues from subleases and lease buyouts) and new provisions are established by a charge to SG&A in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations at the time the facilities actually close.

From time to time closed store liability estimates require revisions, primarily due to changes in assumptions associated with revenue from subleases. The effect of changes in estimates for our closed store liabilities impact both our income statement and balance sheet: (i) they are included in SG&A in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations, and (ii) they are recorded in Accrued expenses (current portion) and Other long-term liabilities (long-term portion) in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.

The Company also evaluates and determines if the results from the closure of store locations should be reported as discontinued operations based on the elimination of the operations and associated cash flows from the Company's ongoing operations. The Company does not include in its evaluation of discontinued operations those operations and associated cash flows transferred to another store in the local market.
Cost of Sales, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Cost of Sales and Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

The following table illustrates the primary costs classified in each major expense category:
Cost of Sales
Total cost of merchandise sold including:
Payroll and benefit costs for retail and corporate
Freight expenses associated with moving
Team Members;
merchandise inventories from our vendors to
Occupancy costs of retail and corporate facilities;
our distribution center,
Depreciation related to retail and corporate assets;
Vendors incentives, and
Cash discounts on payments to vendors;
Costs associated with our commercial delivery
Inventory shrinkage;
program, including payroll and benefit costs,
Defective merchandise and warranty costs;
and transportation expenses associated with moving
Costs associated with operating our distribution
merchandise inventories from our retail store to
network, including payroll and benefit costs,
our customer locations;
occupancy costs and depreciation; and
Self-insurance costs;
Freight and other handling costs associated with
Professional services;
moving merchandise inventories through our
Other administrative costs, such as credit card
supply chain
service fees, supplies, travel and lodging;
From our distribution centers to our retail
Closed store expense; and
store locations, and
Impairment charges, if any.
From certain of our larger stores which stock a
wider variety and greater supply of inventory ("HUB
stores") and Parts Delivered Quickly warehouses
("PDQ®s") to our retail stores after the customer
has special-ordered the merchandise.

New Accounting Pronouncements [Policy Text Block]
New Accounting Pronouncements

In July 2012, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, issued ASU No. 2012-02 “Intangible-Goodwill and Other – Testing Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets for Impairment.” ASU 2012-02 modifies the requirement to test intangible assets that are not subject to amortization based on events or changes in circumstances that might indicate that the asset is impaired now requiring the test only if it is more likely than not that the asset is impaired. Furthermore, ASU 2012-02 provides entities the option of performing a qualitative assessment to determine if it is more likely than not that the fair value of an intangible asset is less than the carrying amount as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform a quantitative impairment test. ASU 2012-02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after September 15, 2012 and early adoption is permitted. The adoption of ASU 2012-02 is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

In September 2011, the FASB, issued ASU No. 2011-08 “Intangible-Goodwill and Other – Testing Goodwill for Impairment.” ASU 2011-08 provides entities the option of performing a qualitative assessment to determine if it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than the carrying amount as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform a two-step quantitative goodwill impairment test. ASU 2011-08 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2011. The adoption of ASU 2011-08 had no impact on the Company’s consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

In June 2011, the FASB issued ASU No. 2011-05 “Comprehensive Income – Presentation of Comprehensive Income.” ASU 2011-05 requires comprehensive income, the components of net income, and the components of other comprehensive income either in a single continuous statement of comprehensive income or in two separate but consecutive statements. In both choices, an entity is required to present each component of net income along with total net income, each component of other comprehensive income along with a total for other comprehensive income, and a total amount for comprehensive income. This update eliminates the option to present the components of other comprehensive income as part of the statement of changes in stockholders' equity. The amendments in this update do not change the items that must be reported in other comprehensive income or when an item of other comprehensive income must be reclassified to net income. The amendments in this update should be applied retrospectively and is effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2011. The Company adopted this guidance in the first quarter of 2012. The adoption of ASU 2011-05 is for presentation purposes only and had no material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.