Every year, we try to make sure and publish our holiday shipping schedule well ahead of time, because we hate hearing that folks have waited too long and won’t get their Christmas gifts on time! For full details, visit our Holiday Shipping Info Page.
We are now accepting payment via PayPal and their BillMeLater service! This partnership brings you the best of both worlds – all of the products you love from Empire Chrome Shop, and the ease of PayPal. You can now pay using your checking account, credit card, or using BillMeLater financing, which offers up to 6 months interest-free for orders over $99.
Not a PayPal user? No worries! You can still pay using a credit card through our secure Authorize.Net merchant service.
For the first time ever, Empire Chrome is selling some of our great products at the Mid-America Truck Show in Louisville! But, we won’t have a booth. Confused? You won’t be, after this post.
Truckers at MATS want great deals on chrome and lights, but vendors have a tendency to bring the wrong stuff or run out of the right stuff early on in the day. We’re bypassing that problem entirely, with our new, exclusive Buy It Now kiosks! At two locations, you’ll be able to hold new products from United Pacific and Grand General in your hand and then place an order for them. Instead of having to carry the stuff all the way back to your truck or lug it around the crowded show for the rest of the day, everything is shipped directly to your home, office, or terminal.
PLUS, we’re offering incredible deals that you’ll never see again. We’re not talking 10% discounts or even 25%, we’re talking LED lights so cheap, they’re cheaper than Buy One Get One Free!! For example:
And that’s just a taste of the savings. But remember – you can only get these deals from Empire Chrome, at MATS! Visit our kiosks in the North Wing at Grand General’s Booth (#16065) or in the East Hall at United Pacific’s Booth (#20055).
For the first time ever, we’re excited to announce FREE SHIPPING! We’ve always wanted to make this happen, but it’s trickier than you might think. Our low prices are our top priority, so raising them to cover the cost of shipping was never, ever, ever an option. But, Dennis did that thing that smart people do when they sit there and punch numbers into a calculator for awhile until they have one of those “AHA!” moments, and this year, Free Shipping is our gift to you!
That said, there are a few unfortunate stipulations. The free shipping offer only applies to orders over $150 within the 48 contiguous United States (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii! We still love you!) and any items that are oversize are excluded. Most oversize items are marked as “call-to-order” on the web, but you can always give us a call to check.
We hope you’ll take advantage of this offer, whether it’s to do a little Christmas shopping for yourself or to surprise a special someone with the perfect gift. Who knows – if it’s successful enough, we might be able to convince Dennis to make it permanent!
The only thing left to do is for you to decide what you’ll buy! Happy Shopping!
If you keep up with our Chrome Time video series, this face should be quite familiar to you. Michael, AKA Junior, grew up in a family of truck drivers – his dad, Dennis, and grandfathers Keith and Gene. As a young man, he unloaded hundreds of trucks while working for a furniture company and also at Walmart. That experience comes in handy these days, since we have incoming freight to unload almost every day.
When he first started working at Empire Chrome in 2007, we had already built an inventory of over 5,000 different parts. So, it was a little overwhelming at first for Michael, who couldn’t believe he’d need to learn about all of them. But, helping customers and installing a lot of the products on the trucks really helped him to figure out the function of each piece.
According to Michael, one of the most unique qualities of our store is the availability of parts for trucks that other chrome shops tend to ignore. “I think the thing that really sets Empire Chrome Shop apart is the amount of stuff we have for all the trucks. We have stuff for Volvo – people don’t carry stuff for Volvo,” he says. “Anybody that comes in, we have something for them.”
You might be surprised, but Michael doesn’t list the evolution of his infamous Wolverine beard as a favorite moment! Instead, when he looks back on the history of Empire Chrome, he speaks about our expansion into international markets. Having been the mastermind behind the Kenworth W900 we sent to Israel in 2010, as well as a host of other shipments worldwide, Mikey is one of the most knowledgable team members when it comes to international sales. It’s not unusual for him to field phone calls and emails from Germany, Australia, Israel, and all across the US on the same day.
If you strike up a conversation with Joseph (aka Joe), the first thing you’ll notice is that he’s definitely a people person. He greets everyone with his signature southern drawl and a smile. At his previous job, working at a local video rental store, he encountered truck drivers from time to time, but not on the scale that we see here at Empire Chrome. Now, meeting so many drivers is one of his favorite aspects of the job. “We get so many regular customers in here, and you get to know them and help them out,” he says with a smile.
Joe may be one of the few employees who isn’t a relative, but since he started here a little more than a year ago, he’s settled right in. On any day that they aren’t working, you’ll find Joseph at the golf course with Michael and Richard – if he’s not out at his favorite fishing hole, that is!
Although he’s always been interested in working on cars both old and new, until he came to Empire Chrome, he’d never worked on a big truck and really didn’t have a lot of experience around them. “My granddad drove trucks in a convoy in World War II and used to tell us stories, and of course I’ve seen big trucks on the interstate,” he says.
In a relatively short amount of time, Joe has learned a lot about truck parts. He says that he really likes having the knowledge to handle projects on his own, like installing visors and other pieces. This is definitely one job where the learning never ends. We’re glad to have Joe on the team!
Part 4 of our “All About Empire Chrome” series features Lorine, who’s best known around here for getting things done! One of our big points of pride around here is that our family members generally work very well together. Like her husband Gene and daughter Betty, Lorine also lists working with family as one of her favorite aspects of her job.
Although she grew up on a farm with many different types of trucks, it wasn’t until she married Gene that she started learning about the world of 18-wheelers. It’s safe to say she’s neck-deep in trucking nowadays!
As the first employee, Lorine has watched the store grow from just Dennis to a team of nearly a dozen people.
Over the course of her tenure here, Lorine feels that her “people skills” have evolved. She also said that one of her goals is “to make sure the customer has a memorable experience.”
Although we’ve made many achievements since 2004, Lorine says her personal favorite has been seeing our website grow from scratch.
This week, Betty shared some of her chrome shop experiences with us. As one of the owners, she’s been around since before our doors were open. Although she helps out everywhere – running a register, handling web orders, checking in new stock – she handles a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, like payroll and invoices.
Like several of our team members, Betty has been around trucks her entire life. As Gene’s daughter, she grew up with a truck driver dad and several driver uncles. She says, “it was just a fluke” that she also wound up married to a trucker.
When Dennis decided to come off of the road and open Empire Chrome, she was working full-time with a local intermodal company. As Empire grew, it quickly became evident that she would have to help run the store full-time instead.
These busy days are turning into busy weeks around here! We’re trying to gear up for MATS next weekend, where Dennis and Betty will be scoping out all of the newest trucker toys.
While they’re in Louisville, Dennis will be giving away awesome prizes (we’re not talking t-shirts and hats – think BIG) to drivers who say hi. So watch out for the man in the yellow shirt. Need a refresher on what he looks like? Lucky for you, I did an interview with him this week.
- It’s easy to forget that the truck show isn’t just about shiny trucks – there are also a number of informational seminars scheduled.
- This is an interesting tidbit – police in Oregon used a dummy big rig to catch people driving dangerously around it. Over two days, they stopped over 200 people and wrote citations for 163. Kudos, Oregon DoT!
As much as truck drivers complain about the DoT, you might be surprised to find out that one of their officers provided the impetus for our chrome shop’s birth.
Back in 2001, Dennis, now the owner of Empire Chrome, was driving a dedicated run between Memphis and Indianapolis, hauling aircraft engines and engine parts for FedEx. During a regular inspection at the I-40 scalehouse, the DoT officer on duty pointed out that Dennis had a headlight out – in the daytime. “I said, when was the last time you noticed you had a headlight out at 3 o’clock in the afternoon? He said never, but he still wrote me a $150 ticket. I knew right then, that I was done driving.”
He spent the next year researching truck accessory manufacturers, chrome shops, and putting together a plan. Prior to his trucking days, Dennis ran gas stations and convenience stores for Phillips 66, so his background in retail helped.
After spending a year selling chrome out of a tiny building on the service road, Dennis bought some land and began construction on his own building.
Dennis said that his favorite thing to do in the store is to figure out the right mix of parts to keep on hand, and to find out what products customers really want to buy. “My least favorite thing is probably all of the things I have my employees do,” he said. “If they’re doing something instead of me, there’s a reason.”
Dennis is the creative mind behind our “Chrome Time” video series. His two proudest achievements were Chrome Time 13, “when I chromed out my wife,” he said, and Chrome Time 17, which is best remembered for Junior’s unusual outfit.
Even though the store has grown to 10,000 square feet and almost 10 full-time employees, Dennis says he’s not surprised. “We knew there were things we wanted to do that other chrome shops weren’t doing,” he says. Those plans included the website, which launched in 2007 and made our products available to customers worldwide.