In the world of office supplies, customers can get lost among the stacks of paper, rows of pens and boxes of computer labels.
Les Moskowitz, founder of The Stockroom, is there to help.
Instead of wandering aimlessly through the aisles of the larger office supply chains – only to finally find a salesperson who says he doesn’t work in that department – shoppers receive personal, friendly and informed service at the office supply store, located in a handsome new building at 6201 N. Seventh St. in Phoenix.
Staff at The Stockroom, the only remaining independently owned office supply store in the city of Phoenix, take pride in offering personal service, Moskowitz says.
Nancy Kennedy, a customer for several years, agrees. “They really make a big effort. If they don’t have a product (in stock), they’ll get it for you. And they get it fast,” she says. “I enjoy the people and the service.”
In February, The Stockroom moved from its longtime location in a shopping center at Glendale Avenue and Seventh Street. It is the most recent change for the company, which since opening in 1986, has experienced many changes – mostly related to the office supply industry.
“We’re constantly having an evolution in product,” Moskowitz says. “As more and more people get computerized, more and more product today is turning toward the computer.”
Nevertheless, The Stockroom still “specializes in keeping basic inventory of product that is hard to get and items that seem to disappear over a period of time,” he says.
“We continue to follow the technology,” Moskowitz says, “but the customers that have kept us in business and have supported us over the years have special needs and special services and we want to make sure we don’t miss those.”
How does The Stockroom compete with large office supply chain stores?
“Office Max and Staples offer price, but we offer knowledge and some competitiveness,” Moskowitz says. “They have a bigger buying power since theirs is in the billions and they buy things by the trainload and truckload.”
But chain store salespeople have limited product knowledge, he says.
In contrast, The Stockroom adds service and value, he says. “There is a trade-off value with price. We go to head-to-head with many items. We are as competitive as we possibly can be.”
Out of approximately 300 commercial customers, 50 receive inventory service. Stockroom employees visit customers’ offices, check their stock and manage their office supply inventory. Customers receive a price list to ensure consistency.
The Stockroom also offers quarterly promotions and volume discounts.
The Stockroom shares ownership and space at its new two-story building with Write Ons Etc., a store that sells stationery, cards, stickers and gift items. Write Ons, Etc., established in 1982, shared rental space with The Stockroom at the stores’ former location.
Moskowitz and his wife Linda have been members of the Beth El Congregation for 20 years and have three children: Lauren, 16; Adam, 18; and Michael, 21. Both he and his wife have been youth advisers and youth directors for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Before opening The Stockroom, Moskowitz worked as the director for charter operations for Greyhound Bus Lines for 13 years.
This article first appeared on jewishaz.com.