CALUMET - Ron Rea's golden rule of business is providing high quality service and treating customers the way he would want to be treated.
"That's what it comes down to," Rea said. "Treat people as you wish to be treated because it all comes back."
In the 13 years that Rea has owned The Office Shop in downtown Calumet, he's taken pride in offering customers the lowest possible price when it comes to their office and party supply needs. And presently, Rea said, business is better than ever.
"Mid-season I introduced our market penetration pricing structure which replaced the older pricing system," he said. "Basically, what that means is we're offering the lowest price in the industry. No games, no gimmicks."
The 25,000 items found in The Office Shop's catalog, which includes furniture, break room and janitorial supplies, clearly lists the prices to the customers, Rea said, and they remain unchanged through the catalog season leaving no room for surprise a month or two down the road.
"What customers pay at the beginning of the year will still be the same for the rest of the year," he said. "We're putting our word and our reputation on it."
However, because of customer demand, Rea said he's been running short on catalogs which prompted him to order an additional few hundred for customers. Upon contacting his supplier, Rea learned of a similar office supply company that went out of business whose catalogs he could use in the mean time until his 2009 catalogs arrive.
"All of the items in the catalog are the same as what you would find in my other catalogs," Rea assured. "The only difference is the cover. It doesn't have the crazy pencil guy that has been my logo for the past 13 years."
Passing out these catalogs in the mean time, Rea said, allows him to continue to get the word out to customers.
"With the cost of everything going up people need relief right now," he said, adding he's received much positive feedback from customers regarding his new pricing structure. "Customers like knowing they can budget for their supplies because the prices remain the same through the entire year."
Personally, Rea said he is glad to be able to guarantee customers low prices.
"It feels pretty good to keep the prices down to a minimum and pass that on to the customers," he said. "That's why I don't do sales. I always said, 'why mark it up just to mark it down.' We want to let people know every day that we're offering the lowest price."
The catalogs are free and can be picked up at The Office Shop, located at 218 Fifth St. Or, Rea said he will personally deliver the catalogs to customers free of charge.
"Carol and I will be handing out our 'Market Penetration' catalogs to several businesses in the weeks to come," he said. "If you have any questions or you are looking for that special item, give us a call at 337-2210."
There's a saying, Rea said, "If it's too good to be true, then it probably is. Well, this is true...no price increase the rest of the year on more than 25,000 items!"
The same great savings can also be found in The Office Shop, Rea said, and there's no extra charge for having the items in stock. The low price in the store is the same low price in the catalog.
The Office Shop also carries a large selection of greeting cards, party supplies, holiday decorations, helium balloons and over-the-hill gifts.
Basically, Rea said, if you want to throw a party or decorate your house for any occasion, "we are the place to come."
Since business has been going so well, Rea said he's been considering a possible move to a more spacious location in Laurium where he could increase his inventory on party supplies and decorations for all events and seasons.
"I've been looking into it so that I could offer even more supplies for customers," he said. "Business has continued to grow and I'm looking towards the future. I've received a lot of support from the community over the years and I'm very grateful and touched by that," he said.
"The Office Shop has been approached by several people in the community volunteering to help us move. Thank you all for your support. When the time comes we will throw a huge moving party! The move will be a lot of work but thanks to all of the community support we will get through it. Wherever The Office Shop ends up, we will continue to do our best everyday to make a difference in the community."
The present building, Rea said, is part of Calumet's historic community and would make a successful venue for a new or existing business.
"It's right in the middle of Fifth Street. This is a very good block to have a business," he said. "If you're looking to start or move your business, this is the perfect spot."
Rea said he completely renovated the building, making it very low maintenance.
"I can't think of another building that would be better," he said. "If you're interested, just give me a call and we can talk about it."
The Office Shop is located at 218 Fifth St. in Calumet. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 337-2210.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by The Office Shop of Calumet. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.