Guam Home Center
282 E. Marine Corps Dr.
By Jackie Hanson
Guam Home Center, located in Dededo, is a division of WMJ Inc., a family business that has been in the building industry since 1980. When the Wu family opened Guam Home Center in 2008, their goal was to provide Guam with a superior shopping experience, enhanced by local expertise.
Mike Wu serves as the store’s general manager, overseeing the operations of the 27,000-square-foot store and its 46 employees. He previously worked for Matlow-Kennedy Commercial Real Estate Service in Los Angeles.
What new products have you brought to the store/island in the past year, and why these products?
In particular, our customers have been demonstrating a strong demand for high-quality outdoor power equipment and lawn and garden tools. Some specific new products we’ve brought in that we and our customers are excited about include aluminum trailers, commercial riding mowers and landscaping tools.
Is Guam Home Center the exclusive retailer in Guam for any brands or products?
We’re proud to be the exclusive provider of a number of high-quality products for our customers, including Benjamin Moore paint, SCAG mowers, Aluma trailers and Tramontina products. In addition, we offer one of the largest selections of STIHL outdoor power tools in the Pacific region.
Have you noticed any trends lately in the popularity of certain items or the types of projects customers are undertaking?
We are certainly seeing trends in remodeling and expanding existing homes. In addition, we’ve noticed more homeowners taking ownership of their construction by buying better paint and plumbing supplies for their contractors to install.
In addition to its retail offerings, does Guam Home Center provide any other services?
We offer on-site loading of lumber and building materials for customers, and we’ll begin selling aggregate this spring. We’ll be able to load aggregate by the truck load or by the bag.
How do you ensure your employees are knowledgeable on various construction and home maintenance topics?
We regularly host training sessions put on by product manufacturers and vendors. We also support our employees undergoing training and certification online.
Hardware store sales can be unpredictable. How do you manage inventory in light of this?
Inventory management can be tricky here. Ocean shipping can take anywhere from three to eight weeks, for example, and not everything can be delivered via air freight. Sometimes, this means we’re overstocked on certain items but can also be out of others when there’s an emergency. Fortunately, our [co-operative] partner, Do It Best Corp., places a high premium on efficient and responsive logistics. That helps us minimize situations in which we are either over- or under-stocked.
What are the other challenges in your line of business?
Building materials are heavy, so logistics is very important to us — especially with the new [commercial vehicle weight limit requirements].
What does Guam Home Center do to remain competitive among other home and hardware stores?
Internally, we invest in our people — our employees — and give them the tools they need in terms of technology and equipment. Externally, we focus on our customers. We talk with them regularly, understanding their ongoing needs and challenges so we are always well-positioned to help them succeed.
What changes or new things from Guam Home Center can customers expect in 2017?
We have a significant remodel and expansion of our store planned for 2017. We’re excited to get started.
Photos by Jackie Hanson and courtesy of Guam Home Center