Success Story: Randall Lumber & Hardware Celebrating 95 years in Taos

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Longevity. Leadership. Loyalty.

All these elements come together at Randall Lumber & Hardware as it celebrates its 95th year in business in 2016.

“We’ve been here for a long, long time,” said Hilario Serrano, director-marketing/retail operations at the store, during a recent visit to the store by The Taos News. “Long enough to be part of the traditions and culture of Taos. We like to think of ourselves as among the ‘elders’ in town. Like on the Pueblo, the elders are the most respected and wisest people who have the knowledge and experience to make the right decisions, to lead the community forward.”

For nearly a century, the store known simply as “Randall’s” has been intimately tied to the diverse population of Taos — in good times, hard times and any uncertainty in between. The Randall family has always owned the store, ever since Elisha Randall hung up a sign that said, “Randalls has everything to build anything,” and opened the business in 1921. It’s the oldest family-owned, independent professional lumberyard and hardware store in Northern New Mexico — and it’s adapted to whatever the world has thrown at it.

That means the business has survived 17 U.S. presidents, the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean conflict, the Viet Nam war — and the numerous booms and busts over all those years.

“During the world war, when most of the men in town were gone, Randall’s took on the role of caretaker for the soldier’s families,” said Serrano. “We did what needed to be done for the women and helped them survive the war back home. Once the soldiers came home, these same families entrusted us to supply them with the products to build up Taos in the post-war years.”

Then, there are all the traditions and cultural events that define Taos: the Fiestas, the San Geronimo Days on the Pueblo, the Fourth of July parades, all the family backyard gatherings.

“A big reason why we are a tradition in Taos is that we have always been here, year after year,” he said. “And our customers have brought tradition of loyalty to Randall’s.”

Recently, a man came into the store with a broken shovel. He had bought it in 1971 from Randall Lumber & Hardware and, despite the 45 years since then, he would only buy a replacement at his hometown, independent building supply store.

“He came because we are still here, and we still have the replacement for his shovel that he needs,” said Serrano. “Like this man, our customers expect the quality and value that has come with our longevity of 95 years.”

When a business is nearly a century old, it’s gone through about four generations of employees, and each has brought a beneficial perspective to the store.

Our leadership and owners have great vision, and have grown up here and gone to school in Taos. The business mission and values were set back in 1921 by Elisha Randall and still today are carried on by his grandchildren-third generation owners Paula Randall-Ervin, David Randall, Britt Bland and Pam Randall-Bland.

“This is a tough business in Northern New Mexico, the pie is only so big,” said Serrano. “So Randall Lumber set the standard. As such, longevity at Randall’s stands for more than just being old: We are seasoned, like your grandmother’s cast iron skillet that has the flavors of all the food it’s cooked still there.”

The veteran staff are the familiar faces of Randall’s, with their experience and knowledge of community and industry.

“Taos may be losing some of its younger population, but we have been able to find quality employees who have the desire and passion to help the community,” Serrano pointed out. “The younger generation learns from the older generation, and each new generation makes us stronger because they adapt to change. Because of this, we can feel comfortable passing along our tradition of service and knowledge to the next Taoseños.”

The folks at the store like to point to the “Randall’s experience” as a tradition that has kept homebuilders, remodelers and do-it-yourself homeowners coming back year after year, decade after decade: “We give a personal experience every time, because we know the products, know the community and know what’s right for your project.”

Perhaps what sets Randall’s further apart from its competitors is the sense of community that permeates the store — every single day.

During most any visit to the store, you might find a contractor leaning against the wall talking about Taos High School sports with a store employee. Or a couple of neighbors who ran into each other in the paint department and start in about the potholes on their street. Or a young man pitching his carpentry skills to a subcontractor who is looking to hire.

“We are a social hangout,” said Serrano. “Why? Because as the elders, we have earned the support and faith of the community. People feel comfortable at Randall’s, they’ll hang around and catch up on the local gossip and news of the town.

“For us, that shows that we are part of the culture of Taos, and that’s why we’ve been successful for 95 years,” he concluded.

Come help Randall Lumber & Hardware celebrate 95 years in Taos at the annual Customer Appreciation Day at the store on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy free eats, giveaways, specials but, most importantly, participate in a tradition of service and quality that stretches back to 1921.

Randall Lumber & Hardware

305 Paseo del Pueblo Sur

(575) 758-2271

randalltaos.com

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