Wednesday, March 2, 2011/lk
"We were busting at the seams," said Pat McAllister, president and CEO of Hood River Supply (Ace Hardware), of the impetus for remodeling and expanding indoor retail space in their Heights retail location at 1995 12th St.
According to McAllister, an additional 1,600 square feet of retail floor space has been added by moving the parts department into a former service bay in the building and reconfiguring the vacated space into a full-service pet and livestock supply zone.
"We have specialty animal feed and supplies that people may not realize we carry," said McAllister. "We have also added Key work clothing, Muck Boots and Georgia Boots, along with expanded orchard and vineyard supplies."
For those bird lovers in the area, McAllister noted that February is national bird feeding month. "We've got a huge selection of bird feeds," he said.
To locate any of the new feeds, work clothing or equipment, customers should look for the classic "Purina" trademark red and white checkerboard, which marks the floor of the new room at the back of the store.
"We took a display concept offered by Purina and made space for it here," said McAllister.
"Today's customers are looking to feed the best to their companion animals and we have products for everything from alpacas to koi, along with the usual horse or indoor animal products," he said.
To find the relocated parts department, which features replacements for equipment by Massey-Ferguson or Briggs & Stratton, among other brands, just follow the signs posted in the store, and pass through the new remodel.
McAllister said that you need not be a member of the Supply Association to shop at the store, but also noted the upcoming annual meeting of members scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Pine Grove grange hall.
"We will be distributing patronage and stock retirement checks to members and we will be sharing the fiscal results of this last retail year," McAllister said.
Following a record five years of growth, McAllister reported a slight drop in sales this last year.
"It could have been worse, given the economy," he said.
Meeting the needs of predicted growth is still on the organization's mind though, with the recent purchase of land between the existing Height's retail store and Rosauers, and a planned future building expansion.
"We are conducting site configuration work now," noted McAllister. "We are trying to determine the optimal size for a new facility … We think it may be between 30,000 to 40,000 square feet, with two-thirds of the space dedicated to retail."
To celebrate continued strong patronage and the already completed remodel, the store plans to hold customer appreciation events between March 28 and April 2. Part of the planned celebrations will include a grand opening ceremony for the Purina retail area.