Memorial Day is not only about beach fun and BBQs, it’s a day to pay tribute to all of the brave soldiers who have fallen protecting our country. We’d like to take a moment to thank all who have fought for our freedom. GTM is honored to have Veteran employees.
This time the spotlight our weekend-sale spotlight is on Martin Torres, who served for eight years in the Marines and is now GTM’s Lead Buyer & Logistics Coordinator. Martin used to work at GTM Lemon Grove after class during his high school years, 2004-2008. He then joined the Marines for almost a decade and returned to GTM in August 2018. We enjoyed this opportunity to learn about Martin’s journey and the great work he does here at GTM.
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“That’s me in the picture there, as a Corporal — I’m the 5th person from left to right in the back row.”
“That is my award ceremony here in San Diego, where I received my martial arts instructor certification. That’s me and my black belt instructor. This is an actual martial art; it’s called MCMAP. You can probably find some cool videos on YouTube that combine a bit of fighting styles together: kickboxing, wrestling, judo.”
“That picture was taken in Camp Pendleton, during my last years in the military.”
How did you go from being a martial arts instructor in the Marines to a buyer for a retail company?
“I was the Supply Logistics Chief. I was in charge of ordering anything from parts for a vehicle to parts for a weapon.”
How long did you serve in the military?
“I served eight years in the Marines, but before I joined I used to work at GTM Lemon Grove through high school as a stocker and merchandiser. Then I joined the Marine Corps. I was stationed in Sacramento and San Diego, and I was deployed to Afghanistan for one year. After I got out I ended up working with GTM again as my out-of-the-Marines job. I like buying all the deals and passing them on to the customers.”
What is your favorite thing about working for GTM?
“My favorite thing is seeing the inventory go from the warehouse to the store to the cart, to wherever it ends up. I like the deals being sent to me from different vendors — I’ll look at it, and if I can pass on that deal to the customers then that gives me a good feeling.”
How did you get back in touch with GTM?
“I just happened to see the job opening on an email. I wasn’t really looking for a job at the time. I was just hanging out, relaxing, no longer in the Marine Corp. Then I saw an email notification from Indeed and decided to apply.”
What does your job entail?
“My job is to make sure that we stay within the budget on the big truckload deals from national retailers [a.k.a. our big box store deals]. We are getting a batch this summer from new big retail store vendors and we’re excited to share these deals on new mixed merchandise.”
What do you do as a Logistic Coordinator?
“I schedule all the incoming and outgoing trucks, so I have to get quotes on trucks to go pick up merchandise on different locations in the United States. That is another thing to look at when you’re buying: ‘Where is it at? Will it be reasonable to pick up with the freight and still be able to pass on the deal?'”
“These items [And1 and Camo Shirts] were one of the big truckload deals that we got our hands on. The high quantity allowed us to drastically lower our price and then discount it 50% on top of that.” — editorial note: We checked, and these sandals on Amazon go for about $30.
“These bralettes will be extremely discounted this weekend because we have a lot of them and we have to move the product fast.”
“The shag rugs, we get them in big quantities and pass on that deal to our customers.” (The sheep skin rugs don’t apply.)
“This security lamp gets connected to your Wi-Fi and has a camera and a sensor that tells you whenever someone is at your door. Then your phone gives you a notification, and you have the option to either talk to them through the 2-way speaker or ring an alarm.”
“These seasonal items, we buy them way in advance, before the season even starts.”
“We have a good amount of inventory on Gillette blades, so we can sell it fast and give our customers a great deal.”
“I haven’t tried these water-flossing kits, but this is looking like one of our best deals this weekend. My sister-in-law is going to dental hygienist school right now, and she says those are pretty good. Definitely recommends using them.”
Bonus questions for Martin:
What was your end-rank in the military?
“I was a Staff Sergeant. On the last picture, that’s me towards the end of my career. In the first picture I was a Corporal.”
What was the actual position that you ended with?
“I was a Supply Chief and a Black Belt Martial Arts Instructor. Now in 2019 I am GTM’s Lead Buyer and Logistics Coordinator.”
What is your favorite color?
“Ha ha, blue.”
If you could have any car you want, what would you have?
“Probably the new GT 350 Mustang.”
Do you play video games?
“I’m playing Call of Duty Black Ops III right now, the battle royale.”
If you could be a ninja or a samurai, which one would you be?
“A samurai. They have a code of honor, unlike ninjas, who sneak up on people.”
Where do you see GTM in the future?
“A new mix of products plus the same stuff we’ve been selling will keep people coming back for more. And having that new product mix makes it more exciting. The weekend sales events are just a bonus.”