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Online clicks in Panama: Rene Gomez ’09

Rene Gomez ’09 and his cousin opened possibly the first web-based department store in Panama.

Online clicks in Panama: Rene Gomez ’09

Rene Gomez ’09 manages six employees with his online-based department store.

Online clicks in Panama: Rene Gomez ’09

Rene Gomez ’09 and his cousin opened possibly the first web-based department store in Panama.

Like many young entrepreneurs, Rene Gomez ’09 knew he wanted to start a business but he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do. Then in 2009, while the international student was working on his bachelor’s degree in business administration, he got a lucky call from his cousin back home in Panama.

“My cousin was selling cleaning products door-to-door to earn some extra cash,” Gomez says. “And even though he was doing okay, he realized that he could never knock on enough doors to sell a large quantity of products. He was limited by time.”

The solution was to go online. So the cousins started building a website to sell those cleaning products. Soon after, they decided to expand their business to include anything and everything sold at typical department stores. In doing so, they created 2gostore.com, opening what they say is the first online department store in Panama. The site went live last year.

“Currently 2gostore.com has over 3,500 products and nine different departments that sell electronics, office supplies, sports, home, and personal care products,” says Gomez.

Sure, they have competitors, explains Gomez. But what gives 2gostore.com its edge is its location. Because it’s based in Panama, it can ship to the country’s customers quickly and without the expensive international shipping costs associated with Ebay or Walmart.

Gomez double majored in information system management and supply chain management at TCU. He says the professors in his program gave him real-world experience with real companies. All that work paid off for the 26-year-old, who now manages a growing company with six employees.

What’s in store for the future?

“We’re working on replicating our business model to use in other Latin American countries,” says Gomez.

In order to find a business idea that works “you’ve got to constantly be looking for new ways to make things easier for people,” says Gomez. When you can develop a product or service that does that, you’ve got a winning idea, he says.