Mother and son Joanne and Jimmy Gilchriest, co-owners of Ransom Brothers True Value, are in the spotlight as recipients of a national award from the True Value Company.
The Gilchriests joined 12 other retailers honored at the seventh annual Best Hardware Store in Town international recognition program at True Value’s 2014 Spring & Rental Reunion in Atlanta, Ga.
“This is a very important award to win, because it lets our team know their efforts are being recognized and their hard work does not go unnoticed,” Jimmy Gilchriest said. “Of course, I feel we have one of the best True Values in the country, but I think it is important that our team knows we are one of the best True Values in the country. Our team definitely deserves the recognition, because they work so hard each and every day.”
Family owned and operated since 1924, Ransom Brothers specializes in complete home packages, including windows and doors, and offers a full line of lumber, hardware and building materials, as well as the recent addition of pet supplies. Jimmy’s parents bought the business from the Ransom family in 1989. After graduating from college in 2001, Jimmy became an owner, and he and his mother continue the Ransom tradition of old-fashioned customer service.
The Gilchriests’ prize-winning 15,500-square-foot store at 1441 Main St. is the second in their Ransom Brothers lineup. It opened in 2010, featuring the co-op’s signature Destination True Value (DTV) format. Since then, the people of Ramona have frequented the business, and they voted it Ramona Sentinel’s Best Hardware/Lumber Store in 2012 and 2013.
Their Ramona store is one of 13 True Value hardware stores selected from each of the co-op’s retail regions.
“True Value has provided us with a wonderful DTV format, which gave us the groundwork for a beautiful store with a great selection of merchandise at a competitive price, said Jimmy Gilchriest. “But none of that would matter if we couldn’t support it with a top-notch customer experience. Our employees are involved with every part of that experience from the second a customer walks into the store, including welcoming them, directing them to the right aisle, answering any questions they may have and, most importantly, making sure they leave our store with a smile.”
He also attributed the stores’ success over the past 90 years to its relationship with the community. The store supports local organizations such as Ramona Outdoor Community Center, Eagle Scouts, Ramona High School, Ramona Senior Center, Rotary and the Ramona Chamber of Commerce.
“We recognize our customers have the option to shop elsewhere and it has been their loyalty that has been a driving factor in why Ransom
Brothers is one of Ramona’s oldest businesses,” Gilchriest said. “As a sign of our appreciation to the community that has supported us for all these years, we have always made it a priority to support many various community events.”
Sponsored by True Value Company, the Best Hardware Store in Town program recognizes retailers who exemplify successful retailing. Store owners either nominated themselves or earned a nomination from a peer or retail manager. Each winner went through a series of selection processes until regional managers narrowed down the top candidates.
Mystery shoppers then visited each selected store to gain a customer’s perspective. The co-op evaluated each finalist based on physical appearance, product selection, competitive pricing, promotional sales and customer assistance.
“Ransom Brothers True Value represents the best of what it means to be part of the True Value co-op,” said John Hartmann, president and chief executive officer of True Value Company. “They are entrepreneurs, dedicated to serving not only their customers, but also their community. They consistently deliver on the five principles of successful retailing: people, place, product, price and promotion. And when they do that, they meet customers’ needs and expectations, creating a profitable and sustainable business.”
True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives. The True Value cooperative represents independent retailer locations worldwide with retail sales in their communities totaling approximately $5.5 billion. Store identities include True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply.
More information about True Value Company is at truevaluecompany.com.