Fleet Farm Increases Footprint Across Upper Midwest
The Fleet Farm growth story continues in 2019, with the addition of four new stores and one major store remodel. The locations reflect an increased presence in the Upper Midwest, spanning Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
New stores are coming to Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids, Iowa this fall; West Bend, Wisconsin (relocated, new store opening this fall). In May, the St. Cloud/Waite Park-area, Minnesota store had a major remodel completed, and the new Sioux Falls, South Dakota store opened.
“Fleet Farm is honored and humbled to be a part of these communities,” said Derick Prelle, Chief Executive Officer of Fleet Farm. “We choose to join cities and towns who share our commitment to family, the outdoors, hunting, fishing and farming. We are thrilled to bring our one-of-a-kind shopping experience to new locations.”
The new stores showcase the same great service and breadth of products at an exceptional value, something loyal Fleet Farm customers expect. The stores also are focused on:
- Customer experience – including an improved layout, wider and more navigable aisles, the ability to interact with the merchandise, and helpful informational signage
- Service – specialist resources and new value-added services like screen repair
- Technology – product kiosks and enhanced Buy Online/Pick Up In-Store experience
“We want to reinforce with our customers that we have what you need for the jobs and joys of every season,” said Terry Brophey, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Think hunting, harvesting and boating, but also remember us for baking, tree tapping and bee keeping. As we hear our customers say, ‘If Fleet Farm doesn’t have it, I don’t need it!’”
Fleet Farm opened five new stores in 2018: In the Wisconsin towns of Eau Claire, Oconomowoc, DeForest and Delavan, as well as in Sioux City, Iowa. Fleet Farm has plans to bring new stores to even more towns and cities in the Midwest, with a goal of nearly doubling the store count by 2023.
In addition, in 2018 Fleet Farm launched a new brand campaign, updated the store name from Mills Fleet Farm to Fleet Farm, and added the tagline “Built for Real Life.”
Meet James Wood, General Manager of the St. Cloud/Waite Park-Area Fleet Farm Store
How long have you been with Fleet Farm? I joined the company in October 2018 and started at the St. Cloud/Waite Park-area store as the General Manager last December.
Where are you from originally? I grew up in a small rural town of 1,600 people called Benld, Ill. St. Cloud reminds me of my hometown—even though it has a lot hustle and bustle, it still feels like a small town.
What do you like to do for fun? My kids are 6, 5 and 3, so we like to watch cartoons together. I also do upland and waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin, Northern Minnesota and South Dakota.
Your store is going through a transformation. We are in the process of a big remodel, adding about 22,000 square feet of sales floor space, a new interior layout, and a significant investment in upgrades to the store. It’s a lot of fun to see the improvements come together department by department—it will all be complete in May.
Do you have a favorite Fleet Farm product? It’s so hard to narrow it down. What don’t we carry? Where else can you buy a baseball glove, some flowers and dog food in one place?
What makes your store unique? We have a few employees who have been here since this store was built in 1979. And several more have been around for 30 years. The tenure of our store employees is so unique. We are a longstanding, established company and brand, but we’re being reborn with new technology and logistics. We are not trying to change everything, but we are making the tradition better. Put another way, we don’t want to forget who we are, but we have a clear direction of where we are going.
It sounds like Fleet Farm is a good match for you. Working here is so much fun. I really enjoy meeting our customers who are outdoorsmen and women, ice fishers and hunters. When you look at what we sell, our employees and our customers really live by this store and this brand.