Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sometimes You Want To Go…

Photo of Ray Tanner Sr. taken from Tanner's Sport Center website.
…where everybody knows your name.

Anyone that is familiar with the show “Cheers” knows the theme song mentioned above and is familiar with the greeting that Norm received when he walked in the bar. However, in life, that is something that not everyone has been able to experience. Over the years there have been to a few places that have greeted me with the same friendly demeanor and familiarity. Recently, the one place beyond work, Rotary, and lodge where that happens to me is when I walk into my favorite, and in my opinion best in the Philadelphia area, gun shop, Tanner’s Sport Center.

The interesting thing is that every time I go there to pick up a small item or two, usually a magazine, ammo, or beef jerky, there are people there spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars all around me. No matter how small the purchase every sales person knows exactly who I am, greets me, and entertains my requests to see firearms that they know I am not going to purchase. It is during these times of window shopping that I have had some excellent conversations with each one of the people working at the store.  

Of course, there have been times when I have gone there to trade and, by the time I left, walked out with something much better. Honestly, I don’t know how it works out, but I find myself getting the better end of the deal every time. I have seen the prices, especially during the gouging period about a year ago, and at no time did the prices skyrocket at Tanner’s. Not surprisingly, this caused the parking lot to overflow onto the grass (if you could even find a spot) and the shelves and cases to look a little to airy. But that is what happens when a store remains equally loyal to their customers as the customers are loyal to the store (that loyalty is also evident through their constant communication on the store's Facebook page).  

I have been to dozens of gun shops throughout the area and outside of the area, especially during this never ending ammo shortage, and I can say with certainty that most are not focused on customer service and that is putting a positive spin on the various situations. Tanner’s has always been a store with a family feel and, while for many people this may be hard to understand, it is somewhere I can go to relax and feel immediately comfortable. I can talk to the people there like friends I have known my entire life and with whom I share a common interest.

There are stores open for the sole purpose of making as much money as possible, even if that means gouging their customers, and there are others that focus on the service of their customers, treating them like friends or family in the process. These are the stores that take the time to know with whom they are speaking, take an interest in the products that are on the shelves, and care enough to remember your name whether or not you are there to buy, sell, or just browse. This is why we need to continue supporting the local stores where community is part of the business plan and sales are fueled by fairness, respect, honesty, and loyalty. It is for these reasons that I am writing this post, the first promotional type post that I have written on this blog (restaurant and travel reviews don't count), and why I encourage you, if you are interested in firearms, to stop by Tanner’s Sport Center and show them your support.