Tom Valone Profiled in Raleigh News & Observer

Posted: January 31, 2011 in Business, Conservation, news
Tags: , ,

The owner of Great Outdoor Provision Company, Tom Valone, was profiled in the Raleigh News & Observer and then highlighted on the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Website. Here are a few excerpts:

In 1992, Great Outdoor declared the first Saturday in June “Land Trust Day.” Every year since it has donated a percentage of its sales on that day – last year it was 10 percent – to land trusts, which are nonprofits that work to conserve the wild. Donations to date: nearly $300,000…

Valone’s ability to give back to the community is tied to Great Outdoor’s success. The chain has come a long way from its roots in 1974…Valone and partners Joe Coates and Burt Whicker paid $30,000 for The Trail Shop, a tiny outdoors store on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill. Valone borrowed his $10,000 share from his father – a plastic surgeon – and a bank…

Valone readily ticks off the many mistakes they made at the outset. They paid their bills to suppliers well before the due date but failed to take advantage of the discounts that early payment entitled them to. They overspent on advertising. And there was the time a sales representative suggested they should start selling T-shirts. “We said, ‘We’re a technical outdoors store,’ ” Valone recalled. “We don’t have room for T-shirts.”

Check out the full article HERE

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