For almost a century, Randall Lumber & Hardware has served the Taos community’s hardware and building needs from a single downtown location.
But that has changed.
Taos’ oldest locally owned building supply store is expanding to the north end with the opening of Randall’s North near the Old Blinking Light. The company recently bought the former Chamisa Feeds location from longtime owners John and Marion Summers.
“We’ve been working on this for several months,” said Hilario Serrano, director of marketing/retail operations for the store. “This gives us an opportunity to bring retail to the north end of town. It’s something that our owners Paula (Randall-Ervin) and Britt (Bland) have been looking to do for quite a while.”
Settling into the new 1,700 square-foot space and 4-acre yard, Serrano and the five-person staff as well as his staff at the Main Store, have been working hard to focus the store’s inventory and service in a different market.
“The north side has a lot of open grazing land, and we’ve found out quickly how many people like the idea of driving to our new location rather than having to go all the way into town,” said Serrano. “We wanted to play a part in that, offering products that those customers need, along with the same benefits, discounts and value available at our downtown store.”
The north store will stock hardware, lumber, feed and what Serrano calls “convenience products” like brooms, mops, brushes, detergent, soap, paper products and other household items. These are products that move quickly off the shelves in the downtown store as the most popular items.
“Randall’s North will be a condensed version of Randall Lumber & Hardware,” he said. “We are listening to our customers and the product variety will evolve according to their needs and desires.”
One customer recently asked Serrano to stock tractor parts and supplies. Another discussed what he needed for his fruit orchards and alfalfa fields. A third gave Serrano a list of items he might need on short notice.
Many of new store know Serrano and his family personally because they live in the north end, and he is banking on that familiarity to stock the products that they need most often.
“A lot of the folks on the north end have full-time jobs and they raise crops and livestock as more of a hobby,” said Serrano. “Ag is a big part of this community, and we aim to treat these customers just like we do at the main store.”
Randall’s kept veteran Chamisa Feeds employee Rose Santistevan on the payroll to help with the transition into the farm-and-ranch sector, and to eventually run the store.
“This is our first experience with feed, so Rose as our ‘feed girl’ will be a tremendous help for us,” said Serrano. “She has helped introduce us to longtime Chamisa customers. And, former owners John and Marion Summers have been flexible during the transition.”
Serrano expects the new location will attract customers from Arroyo Seco, Arroyo Hondo, Valdez, Tres Piedras and others. The new location will link into Randall Lumber & Hardware’s main ordering and billing system to provide a smooth transition for new customers, and existing ones who like the convenience of a north end store. If something isn’t stocked at the north end, it can be quickly and conveniently ordered.
“The response has been positive and overwhelming,” said Serrano. “An old friend of Randall’s came in the other day and said, ‘We are so glad you’re here.’ For someone like myself who’s been in hardware for 32 years, it’s exciting to be part of a new chapter in what we do at Randall’s.”
For now, Randall’s North will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon. Serrano expects the store to have expanded weekend hours in the near future as people get used to the new location.