GTM has been voted San Diego’s #1 Discount Store and continues to offer thousands of values to customers by selling quality items at a discount. GTM buys overstocks, closeouts, and discontinued national-brand merchandise from large chain retailers and wholesalers and resells them at huge savings to you. GTM has well-staffed stores where employees are trained to offer a pleasant, rewarding, and exciting shopping experience. With truckloads arriving daily, GTM stocks thousands of items with new bargains available every time you shop.
The Seven Rights of GTM Customers
- The Right Service Environment
- The Right Merchandise
- The Right Condition
- The Right Price
- The Right Place
- The Right Time
- The Right Quantity
GTM started out in 1980 as two guys going to the Swap Meet and then having a garage sale. 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 sale. We even bought and refinished antique furniture for a short while. That made our time worth about $3 an hour.
At one point a woman called us — she wanted a workshop cleaned out and had two conditions. One, we had to come right then and two, we had to take everything. After we completed the task the woman said, “You’re still not done.” We eyed the empty room, wondering what she meant. She added, “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 cowboy hats and mesquite wood charcoal 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 (now known as Costco) called and asked us to start buying their closeouts and salvage in December 1980. The obvious next step was to open a physical store and the first GTM store was opened on March 1, 1981, at Eighth and Market, in downtown San Diego. This location was under the Arthur Hotel which was built in 1888.
At first, it was challenging to find customers to buy all the items that 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. One of our first accounts was San Diego’s oldest Chinese Restaurant, the Nanking, at Fourth and Island.
Over many years (and due to the contributions of many great employees), the business has evolved into a first-class retail operation. In 1983, our second location was opened in Santee in the “Old Tony’s Produce Building,” and we operated out of that 4000-square foot location for several years. In 1986, the Downtown location was moved to 16th & G Street and was eventually closed in May of 2005. In 1989, the Santee location was moved from Mission Gorge Road to Carlton Hills Boulevard. In 2012, Santee was expanded and remodeled and we now occupy 30,000 square feet at that location. In 1988, GTM opened a store in Lemon Grove on Broadway in the old San Diego Glass and Paint building. This store was moved to its current location (still on Broadway) in November 1992. In 2021, we expanded and now occupy 36,000 square feet.
In 2016, GTM opened the Otay Mesa location. At only 7,875 square feet, this location was not ideal for GTM, but it was a necessity for us to acquire this space because one of our largest suppliers of groceries was requiring us to purchase their frozen & refrigerated goods in order to keep our contract. This was a completely new arena for GTM and the space in Otay Mesa focused on selling this cold product as well as serving as a clearance outlet for overstock items. It has since grown to be a sort of “mini” GTM with a wide variety of merchandise to serve our customers in this growing neighborhood. However, the capacity for storage and distribution of our frozen & refrigerated groceries needed to grow, so at the end of 2017, our Chula Vista store was opened. This location is over 23,000 square feet and now serves as our storage and distribution point for cold groceries. We’ve since expanded this category so that all GTM locations sell this exciting product at prices so low it’s hard to keep the shelves stocked because of how fast these items are picked up by our customers.
In October 2022, GTM made the decision to close down the Otay Mesa store. Due to the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related difficulties, it was necessary to close down this location. We greatly appreciate the support of our customers to the Otay Mesa store and making this unlikely GTM location a success while it was fully operational.
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 merchandise or opportunities. We have over 130 employees that continue to contribute positive ideas and innovations that continue to improve GTM’s operation. We have been voted San Diego’s #1 Discount Operation on several occasions.
The mission of GTM is to provide a superior shopping experience in a friendly environment with employees dedicated to good service. We will achieve this mission through teamwork and dedication to the Company’s Core Values and Seven Rights. The Buyer’s Mission is to enhance the image of GTM by securing products that offer quality and value at the best possible prices. Above all, GTM strives to earn the highest compliment our customers can give us: the referral of their friends and family. Thank you for your trust!
GTM Core Values
- Integrity: Honest and truthful presentation of the facts, demonstrated by our faithfulness to our Core Values.
- Positive Attitude: The choice to create a productive work environment through care and compassion.
- Mutual Trust: Relationships extended, created, and built on proven reliability because parties agree.
- Communication: Timely, open, honest, pertinent, accurate, courteous, complete, and consistent sharing of relevant information.
- Commitment: Dedication and determination to achieving our Core Values, Vision, and Mission goals, to the best of our ability.
- Determination: A decision to reach and exceed our productivity standards in all aspects of performance.
- Dependability: Accepting accountability and responsibility to follow through with excellence.
- Loyalty: Ensuring one another’s success through the attainment of the Core Values.
- Celebration of Diversity: Encouraging the acceptance of cultural and ethnic differences, promoting diversity of thought, and welcoming diversity of talents and abilities throughout the organization.
- Cooperation: Mutual support of the workers and the work.
- Training: Establishment of consistent paths of development, growth, and achievement for all employees.
- Right Rewards: Sharing the benefits of reaching and exceeding our goals.
- Innovation: Freedom to seek and own creative solutions within your scope of authority and responsibility.
- Service: The decision to support another’s success.
The purpose of GTM is to provide a rewarding shopping experience in a secure and positive environment encouraging courtesy, cooperation, and teamwork.