(April 26, 2018) The GPS Store, Inc. — a leading marine electronics retailer combining nationwide online sales with phone sales and a storefront based in the quiet coastal community of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina — is celebrating its 20 th Anniversary in May, 2018.
To experience consistent success and growth over two decades that have seen a Great Recession, challenging times for the boating industry and the rapid evolution of online shopping habits, is testimony to the hard work and dedication of husband and wife founders Drew and Gina Reger. “My wife and I came to North Carolina from New Jersey back in 1997, not knowing a soul, “said Drew Reger, President of The GPS Store. “We had good business relationships with Garmin and Magellan, at a time when handheld and automotive GPS was taking off. We found ourselves in the right place at the right time, and we worked hard seven days a week to make the most of it,” added Reger.
The Regers registered the www.TheGPSStore.com domain that year, and went live with its first e-commerce website in 1998 (coincidentally, the same year search engine giant Google got its start). They chose “The GPS Store” moniker because, at the time, sales of compact GPS units were exploding for cars, hikers and land-based outdoor adventurers. Today, the company carries far more than GPS systems, and marine electronics dominate its sales. It is a full-spectrum retailer carrying radar, chart plotters, echosounders, VHF radios, stereos, and safety technology of all types. While the company has changed; the name has not. “When you’ve built a brand that is well known, and a good reputation to go along with it, you don’t want to mess with it,” advised Reger.
Drew and Gina opened their original storefront in September 1998 across the street from their current location. Then in 2002, built the current headquarters from the ground up which includes a “hands on” retail showroom, customer service and sales staff, integrated warehouse, along with shipping and fulfillment operations to operate at peak efficiency. This facility looks like any other marine electronics shop in the country — display shelves lined with glowing LCD screens, salesmen demonstrating features and answering customer’s questions. Over the 20 years, this storefront has been an important part of the company’s overall business, and enjoys a loyal clientele who come in to shop and ask for advice. They hired their first employee, Charlene Bodette, in December of 1998, and she still works for The GPS Store. They now have a staff of 16, including Vice President, Sales Scott Heffernan, who came to help with the Christmas rush of 1999 and never left.
The keystone of success for The GPS Store has always been customer service, whether it takes the form of helping customers face-to- face in their showroom or at a boat/trade show, talking with them on the phone, or through the company’s website — which is constantly being enhanced and improved to remain a vital resource for boaters. An example of this would be their ever-expanding “Advice and Tips” section. The GPS Store team constantly monitors the company’s ratings on Google, and considers anything less than a 5-star rating a letdown. They currently have over 1,300 online reviews with an average rating of 4.9 stars (a hard thing to achieve given the expectations of today’s online shopper). “Customer service will always be our highest priority,” said Reger. “This is why we ship our customers’ orders quickly and accurately. And why we take the time on the phone to help customers choose, install and get the most out of the products we sell.”
Even though The GPS Store doesn’t provide actual installations services, they now have four National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA)-certified installers on staff. By keeping on top of the latest industry technologies, techniques and trends, these experts are able to provide sound advice to customers and help them with any issues they may be facing. This level of customer service and product support is unusual, to say the least, for an online retailer.
The GPS Store will be celebrating its 20 th Anniversary by offering exclusive discounts and offers to its customers for a 10-day period this month from May 5 th – 15th. The GPS Store’s long-term partnerships with key marine electronics manufacturers allow it to negotiate specials and savings opportunities not possible through other channels. There will be door prizes and other giveaways taking place both in the store and online.
Contact The GPS Store at (910) 575-9544 or visit www.TheGPSStore.com to learn more.