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About GTM

GTM started out as 2 guys going to the Swap Meet and having garage sales back in 1980. During these humble beginnings GTM was called GTM Salvage and the motto on our business card was “Don’t chuck it, we’ll truck it.” Yes, it was called GTM from the beginning and it means “GET the MONEY.” We bought the contents of people’s garages and closed them out at the end of their garage sales. We even bought and refinished antique furniture for a short while. That made our time worth about $3 an hour.

One time a lady called and wanted a work shop cleaned out and had 3 conditions. One; we had to come right now, two; we couldn’t pay any money and 3; we had to take everything. We started to leave and she said you’re not done yet. We eyed the empty room, wondering what she meant. She then said, “You dismantle the racks and remove them and take the switch plates off the wall.” This had been her deceased husband’s shop and she wanted no reminders left behind. The weekend sales at the Swap Meet were good following that pickup.

Each week we wondered where we would find the next items to sell. One of the founders brought back Cow Boy Hats and Mesquite Wood as part of his luggage from Texas to keep things going. One lead and referral after another kept us going and good service was part of the equation from the start. Finally Price Club called and asked us to start buying their closeouts and salvage in December 1980. The obvious next step was to open a store and one was opened on March 1st, 1981 at 8th and Market Downtown, San Diego. This location was under the Arthur Hotel that was built in 1888.

It was very challenging at first to find customers to buy all the items we were procuring and to present them in a manner that appealed to the average shopper. There was a lot of trial and error. Jerry Crouch would stand on the sidewalk in front of the store and invite people in with the promise of the best prices in town. He would travel from Restaurant to Restaurant selling rice, flour and sugar and one of the first accounts was San Diego’s oldest Chinese Restaurant, the Nanking at 4th and Island.

Over many years and due to the contributions of many great employees the business evolved into a first class retail operation. In 1983 the 2nd location was opened in Santee in the “Old Tony’s Produce Building” and we operated out of that 4,000 square ft location for several years. In 1986 the Downtown location was moved to 16th and G St and was eventually closed in May of 2005. In 1988 GTM’s first Lemon Grove Store was opened on Broadway in the old San Diego Glass and Paint building. In 1989 the Santee location was moved from Mission Gorge Rd to Carlton Hills Blvd and we eventually ended up occupying the space of 3 businesses and now occupy over 25,000 square feet at that location. The Lemon Grove location was moved to its current location in November 1992 where we now occupy over 25,000 square ft.

GTM carries over 20,000 items and constantly seeks new values for its customers. We have over 200 suppliers and no longer worry about running out of product or opportunities. We have over 130 employees that continue to contribute positive ideas and innovations that continue to improve GTM’s operation and insure its future success. We have been voted San Diego’s Number One Discount Operation on several occasions. Our employees adhere to Core Values and strive to achieve GTM’s Mission and Vision by bringing tremendous values to San Diego County Consumers.

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