|The year is 1955. The microwave oven is invented, the TV remote becomes public and the Brooklyn Dodgers are the World Series Champions. It is also the year that Burt Hesselson opened the doors of his retail store in Elmira Heights, New York. What started out as an Army/Navy surplus store evolved into the outdoor outfitters’ one-stop empire of Hesselson’s.
Tom Witzel, President of Hesselson’s, knows that longevity in the retail sector speaks volumes. The reputation of Hesselson’s is they do the right thing when it comes to the customers. He also knows that offering quality products at good prices makes for a solid loyal customer base.
Having quality staff is also important to Witzel. “Most of my key employees have been employed here for over 15 years.” Training and product knowledge are key aspects to keeping his staff up to date on the variety of products Hesselson’s offers to their customers.
In the mid-80’s Hesselson’s added hot tubs to their retail product line. At first they displayed 2 to 3 tubs as a complement to the above-ground pools they carried. Since then, they have expanded the showroom to where they now show over 25 hot tubs at any given time and have a minimum of 60 in the warehouse ready for immediate delivery.
Hesselson’s brought Nordic Hot Tubs into their showroom about 11 years ago. Witzel is happy with their decision and feels Nordic is a great value for his customers. “They have a lot of sizzle that customers want but can’t afford in an $8000 tub but can with a Nordic for under $5000” states Witzel. He also knows the Nordic quality adds value within the price point. “They just don’t break down!” he adds.
Being a retailer for as long as Witzel has been means he has seen many ups and downs in the business cycle. “Economic conditions are always changing” he states. The changing business climate challenges him but, keeping on trend and ahead of the competition is what he enjoys.
In addition to selling hot tubs and pools, Hesselson’s carries work boots, hunting gear and accessories, guns, ammunition, work and cold weather clothing. “I’m looking forward to a cold winter and a hot summer” quips Witzel. “Being in the pool business we like the hot summers, the hotter the better! But, we also sell a lot of cold weather clothing for hunting and the cold weather makes customers think about gearing up” he adds.
The advice Witzel has for other dealers is this, “Come to work every day, work hard and do the best you can do. Be a flexible boss and respect everyone around you.” That’s good advice for work and for life!
Hesselson's is hosting a Nordic Sale Event beginning Thursday, October 26 through Sunday, October 29, 2017. Join Tom and his Sales Team for some great prices on Nordic Hot Tubs!
Tom Witzel and the Hesselson’s Sales Team can be contacted through the website or find them on Facebook.