RealTruck.com evolves as an e-commerce retailer
John M. Steiner / The Sun RealTruck.com in Jamestown emphasizes employee satisfaction. RealTruck.com entered a new phase in its evolution as an e-commerce retailer of pickup truck accessories with a recent merger. In the spring of 2015, Michigan-...
John M. Steiner / The Sun
RealTruck.com in Jamestown emphasizes employee satisfaction.
RealTruck.com entered a new phase in its evolution as an e-commerce retailer of pickup truck accessories with a recent merger.
In the spring of 2015, Michigan-based Truck Hero Inc. (THI), acquired RealTruck Inc ., along with AutoCustoms LLC, another pickup truck accessories company with offices, warehouses and store locations in Ocala, Fla., and Jasper, Ind. The two companies were recently merged to form the THI e-commerce division.
“This is just another step in the right direction and I look forward to our continued growth,” said Jeff Vanlaningham, vice president of marketing and people development for THI e-commerce.
Vanlaningham, who was president of RealTruck.com prior to the acquisition and merger, said that as the company grew, its mission evolved. The new arrangement provides more tools and expertise to reach the brand’s goal of becoming the preeminent truck accessory website in the country, he said.
“The two companies are strategically combining talent and resources,” Vanlaningham said. “The RealTruck.com brand is central to our shared mission of becoming the go-to site for truck accessories and is a focus for the newly minted company.”
Vanlaningham said that changes in the auto industry, the auto accessories industry and the virtual marketplace have influenced these recent changes. The merger is part of a push to reach customers who prefer to purchase items from one online source as it is simpler and convenient.
“We also need to attract customer audiences that do not currently purchase with us to keep competitive,” Vanlaningham said. “So our brands team is recommitted to consistently growing our product portfolio and increasing the brands, products and categories we sell.”
RealTruck.com started in 1997 as an aftermarket-accessory e-retailer in Spokane, Wash. The e-commerce website www.RealTruck .com started in 1998, and founder Scott Bintz relocated the headquarters to Jamestown in 2000.
RealTruck.com grew to 90 employees who moved over 300 distinct brands and 500,000 product lines through its website, and created content and video resources to help customers install and navigate its products, according to the company. A Fargo location was added in 2010, and the Jamestown location was expanded in 2015.
RealTruck.com online sales reached $13.6 million in 2011, Vanlaningham said. Sales reached $62 million in 2015 and $86 million at the end of 2016, he said.
The acquisition and merger have created more opportunities for growth, and the company continues to expand with positions available across the Fargo, Jasper, Jamestown and Ocala locations, he said. Jamestown handles a substantial portion of the company’s customer service and returns, and maintains employees in the accounting, human resources and marketing departments, he said.
The importance of employee satisfaction is central to maintaining a healthy and productive work environment with strong retention, Vanlaningham said. Two companies have merged with a single set of core values within company culture.
This is just another step in the right direction and I look forward to our continued growth.
– JEFF VANLANINGHAM, vice president of marketing and people development for THI e-commerce