I once played golf with a guy who had moved to Chicago from Montreal. When I asked him why he came here he said, “I wanted to open a hamburger stand and I figured that Ray Kroc started out here with a small restaurant and he built McDonald’s out of it. I figured if it worked for him, it could work for me.” I thought it was the goofiest reason I’d ever heard, but I said, “Oh, okay.” He opened up a couple of hamburger joints, never got to be the size of McDonald’s, but he has a reputation of putting out a good burger and he has a small but dedicated group of fans
Years later I started selling on eBay. After a couple of years, my wife an I got pretty good at it. Then it occurred to me, my Canadian friend had a point. Not only did Ray Kroc get his start in Chicago, so did Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Wards, the mail order companies. As early as the 1800s they produced catalogs of hundreds of pages showing items of every description. These catalogs were distributed far and wide. For some pioneers out on the lone prairie, the catalogs were a lifeline to civilization.
Montgomery Ward Warehouse in 1911 (now it’s condos)
A great part of this success has to do with Chicago and its central location. Chicago was the transportation hub of the nation. Packages leaving town would get to their destinations quickly on the many different railroads that had their terminals here.
Johnny-Sells is sort of like one of those old catalog companies. Only we use the internet to reach our customers instead of a book. Our products are shipped on trucks and airplanes instead of the Iron Horse of the Old West. In the 1800s Chicago was the rail capital. Today, it’s the freight and air capital. Trucking companies use the extensive highway system to make deliveries all over the country. Planes leave O’Hare Airport flying non stop to exotic locales. We once had a package delivered in Paris, France 3 days after we shipped it. It’s also 2 to 3 days to pretty much any point in the East, Midwest or South. The West Coast takes another day or two.
We at Johnny-Sells do our part and get the product out the door quickly. Once you make your payment, we’ll ship it the next day, sometimes the same day. And we’ll always send you the tracking number. If something goes gaflooey and your package is delayed, contact us and we’ll track it down.
That’s pretty much it. We don’t plan on opening a huge warehouse on the river like Montgomery Ward did. We don’t want to open thousands of stores like McDonald’s did. We just hope to provide our customers with quality, name brand products with prompt delivery and great customer service. And if you are ever in Chicago, we can take you to a place where they make a great hamburger.