Debbie Montgomery, center, general manager at Aaron's in Craig, poses with her team, from left, William Green, product technician; Kenny Cooper, product technician; Kay Lonnie Lawton, customer service representative; and Ben Hough, product technician.

Photo by Joe Moylan

Debbie Montgomery, center, general manager at Aaron's in Craig, poses with her team, from left, William Green, product technician; Kenny Cooper, product technician; Kay Lonnie Lawton, customer service representative; and Ben Hough, product technician.

Shell to host informational event for local vendors

Crowds gather for Aaron’s soft opening

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If you go...

Who: All interested local businesses

What: Event about becoming an approved Shell service company or supplier

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: The Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion, 750 E. Fourth St.

Dinner will be provided

Quotable...

“It’s crazy busy in here. I love it. We’ve been nonstop since we opened this morning.”

Bryan Erickson, Aaron’s regional manager, about Saturday’s soft opening at the Centennial Mall in Craig.

Calendars are turned to the last month of 2012 and already December has marked fresh opportunities for local contractors and Craig shoppers.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Shell representatives are slated to host an educational event at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion, 750 E. Fourth St.

The event is geared toward local business owners interested in becoming an approved Shell service company.

In addition to learning about potential business opportunities with the oil and natural gas operator, Shell representatives will educate local contractors about the company’s vendor requirements.

Shell already has mailed invitations to local businesses, but Craig business owners of all kinds are invited to attend. Dinner will be provided.

Meanwhile in the retail business sector crowds flocked Saturday to check out Craig’s newest store during a soft opening of Aaron’s at the Centennial Mall.

Aaron’s, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is a sales and lease to own retail store offering furniture, electronics, appliances and computers.

The store boasts automatic pre-approvals, flexible monthly payment plans, 120 days same as cash and a low price guarantee on everything in the store, or they’ll give customers $100 cash.

“It’s crazy busy in here,” said Bryan Erickson, Aaron’s regional manager. “I love it. We’ve been nonstop since we opened this morning.”

A subsidiary Aaron’s franchise group, started nine years ago in Cortez, is responsible for opening the Craig location, which is the group’s 40th store in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Arizona, but the parent company has more than 2,000 locations in 48 states and Canada, Erickson said.

The core of Aaron’s business model is based on boosting employee wages and lowering prices through customer satisfaction and repeat business, Erickson said.

The company has built a successful business by hiring local people who know the communities they serve “because we want to help our customers own the products they purchase. We don’t want to see these things come back to the store,” Erickson said.

To stay true to that business model, Aaron’s tapped Craig resident Debbie Montgomery to be general manager of the Centennial Mall location.

Before her hiring at Aaron’s, Montgomery worked 12 years at Mountain West Insurance in Craig.

“I was ready to make a change after sitting behind a desk for 12 years,” Montgomery said. “I wanted to do something that is a little more interactive with customers, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a general manager with an awesome company like Aaron’s.”

Aaron’s is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and closed Sundays.

“We’re very much excited to be Craig and look forward to serving our local customers,” Erickson said.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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