Success at the Shack

When Kerry and Cynthia Symons purchased Perryton Office Supply and Radio Shack in 1995, it had one part-time and two full-time employees. Over the years, they’ve grown the store to have 16 full-time employees. Since 2004, it’s been the country’s best performing Radio Shack, and it was Store of the Year in 2007.

Building on the Perryton store’s success, Kerry expanded to a Dalhart location in the late ’90s and now owns 12 Radio Shack and/or Verizon stores spanning from Dalhart to Weatherford. His widespread success has also earned him a place on the Radio Shack focus group and on the dealer roundtable for Verizon retailers.

We set down with the Perryton resident to find out more about his Main Street store and why he likes doing business in our town. Here’s what he had to say.

Kerry, what did you do prior to owning Perryton Office Supply and Radio Shack?
I had an office supply store in Louisiana. But in ’95, we were presented with the option to buy this store. We came up and looked and saw the opportunity and potential here. Cynthia’s grandmother and dad were here and so were my folks. We thought it’d be nice to live here and take care of our families as they got older, and we wanted our kids to go to school here.

What do you like about owning a store in Perryton?
I enjoy the customers. The people are fabulous. They want to do business locally and know the importance of supporting their own. The support we’ve had has been the most fun part. I also like that there’s always something new. Customers always want the newest, coolest thing, so it keeps an old guy up to date on all the latest technology.

I’d much rather own a store in Perryton than in a larger town like Amarillo. The overhead is less, and it’s a lot easier to reach our customers and get the word out. On Saturdays, customers come from all over; about half our customers then are from out of town. I also like that the City Council and CDC welcome new businesses and help make local businesses successful.

If you do not like coming to work, you need to find something else to do. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t be good at it. For the last 15 years, I can honestly say that I enjoy coming to work each day.

What’s your secret to success?
Personal service. Customer service is the key to small businesses. We strive for the ultimate customer experience. My goal is for a customer to feel better when they leave the store than when they came in—whether they buy something or not.

Our prices are as good or better than Staples and Office Depot. And on TVs, our prices are better than Best Buy because we belong to a bigger buying group. It’s a misconception that you have to pay more in rural America for service.

What’s the strangest product request or inquiry you’ve received?
The other day, someone called and asked if we sell hamsters. We sell a lot of things but not pets.


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