Ivan Sanchez uses the Chemical Guys’ “Natural Shine” product during a demo at the Calexico Detail Garage location recently at 2300 Imperial Ave., Suite G. As described, the product is a protective tire dressing meant to help prevent tire degeneration from UV damage, according to the company. | COURTESY PHOTO
CALEXICO — Detail Garage, the national retail operation for Gardena-based Chemical Guys car care products, opened its first Imperial Valley storefront on Oct. 9 in Calexico at 2300 Imperial Ave., Suite G.
“There is nothing like us here in the IV,” sales associate Luis Meza told the Calexico Chronicle in a recent interview. “We really try to be hands-on and provide the best customer experience. We really want to put a smile on your face, knowing that you have a product you’ll like while giving you knowledge about it.”
Although company representatives consider Calexico’s Detail Garage their fifth location, the company’s nation website shows about 50 retail locations throughout the United States and Canada and Chemical Guys products in all the local Walmarts in the Imperial Valley.
Marketing research on behalf of Chemical Guys sales found that Calexico was one of its largest consumers of car products, which has in turn led to plans to further expand eventually to El Centro and into Arizona.
The storefront allow the company to build connections within their respective communities around car culture and caring for car enthusiasts’ investments.
“You can buy our products anywhere; we want to provide the one-on-one connection that you can’t get anywhere else,” team lead Clarissa Salazar explained.
She said on top of having product demos, their sales reps educate consumers on safety and precautions needed when using their products. Each of their products has a QR code that leads a customer into The Chemical Guys website where they have videos and more product information to reference when purchasing their products.
Detail Garage Calexico will host a monthly gathering known as “Rides and Coffee,” Salazar said, the last Saturday of each month, with the first scheduled from 8 to 11 a.m. Oct. 30, according to the business’ heavy Instagram and Facebook presences.
“We try to get the car community out here to form a bond,” Salazar said in an interview. Throughout the event goods are raffled and discounts are offered in the store.
Reintegrating with society can be hard for some, especially as social distancing is still recommended in many locations. Sales rep Luis Meza explained how detailing can be a therapeutic exercise for some.
“About 60 percent of the people who walk in have never detailed a vehicle before, and this opens up a new hobby for them,” Meza added. “Who knows, maybe you end up loving it, and adding a new skill trait?
“Many have returned wanting to improve their skills in detailing; it’s not just about washing your car. There is the knowledge of when, how and with what to keep your car in the best condition,” Meza told the Chronicle.
Salazar explained that for a car’s finish, “hands-free” car washes might be that, but a vehicle’s finish can suffer.
“If you look at your car, under a light or in the sun, you may see scratches or circular marks. These marks are from (automated) car washes. Those machines can wipe your car incorrectly, resulting in marks. We can help you correct that,” she added.
The store is open seven days a week: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Salazar and Meza said the store will do most of its outreach on Instagram.