Located on Central Avenue in the middle of downtown, CB FOX is integral to the experience of living and shopping in Los Alamos. In 1979 the Fox family bought Los Alamos’ only dry goods store, Clement and Benner, from their next door neighbors in St. Louis, MO, moved to town, and continued the store’s legacy of being all things to all shoppers.
“We’ve put baby shoes on customers who are now buying dining room furniture and sofas from us,” said Andy Fox, the son half of the father and son team that runs the store. “We’ve tried very hard to respond to the unique needs of Los Alamos.”
CB FOX has been a member of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce for 35 years.
“Clement and Benner, which we bought in 1979 had been a member for the prior 15 years, so because we were keeping the store’s name initially it was a ‘natural to-do’,” said Dave Fox, the father half of the father and son team. Dave attributed the length of CB FOX’s membership in the Chamber to his father, who taught him the value of commitment from birth, and to his experience playing sports and serving in the US Marine Corps – both of which required commitment.
Andy attributes the store’s longevity to a matrix of factors, not the least of which is the unique presence CB FOX has enjoyed in the Los Alamos market. “I don’t pretend that we could survive in any other city in the country. The out-of-town competition has driven us from the very beginning to craft our selection of goods, brands and performance for the benefit of darn near every customer who has ever come through our doors. We do everything for everyone,” Andy said, noting that the store’s product selection is tailored to the demands of the local market. He also pointed out that the product selection is chosen by in-house staff. “We are not subject to a buyer from out of state buying for a chain of stores.”
The employees at CB FOX enjoy a company culture, created by Dave Fox, which values and respects everyone, and does not exempt anyone from any task. “We are a work with, not a work for, store. Everybody participates, no one is above doing whatever is needed to keep the customers happy,” Andy explained.
According to Recruiter.com, for the first quarter of 2012, retailers reported a median turnover rate of 67 percent for part-timers, rising 33 percent over 2011. About 20 percent of retailers have reported experiencing a jump in first quarter employee turnover. Meanwhile, at CB FOX, the majority of employees have been at the store between 2 and 17 years, with an average of 5.5 years. Andy noted that the customers like the predictability of having the same employees at the store on every visit and having the employees know the customers’ preferences.
The future for CB FOX includes some changes, including an online store, updated clothing lines, expanded furniture sales & delivery, and increased provision of work wear and safety gear for LANL and its contractors.