MOORHEAD-The newest store in town is off to a running start that began this spring with a complete overhaul of a vacant retail building.
Runnings will officially open at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, taking over the 89,000-square-foot building at 3000 U.S. Highway 10 E. that was a Kmart store until it closed late last year.
Store Manager Stan Sample said it's the 41st store for the Runnings brand, which is based in Marshall, Minn., and got its start as an auto parts store in 1947.
The new Moorhead store does boast a large automotive section, though that's hardly the only specialty for the company today as it caters to farmers, hunters, fishers and others.
Everything from clothing to toys and bulk candy to home decor is now available here. Sample said it's one of the larger Runnings stores around, especially in its primary territory of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.
The retailer is more of a "farm-type store" these days, he said, stocking things like gates and fencing, livestock and poultry feed and horse accessories. Its sporting goods section is geared toward hunters and fishers, he said, and the store also carries a large selection of power tools, mowers, snowblowers, grills and other outdoor needs.
"We've got a little bit of everything here," he said.
Bringing it back
Runnings has become known for turning vacant commercial spaces into renovated new businesses.
Sample said the company started a major renovation of this building just west of the EasTen Shopping Center in late March. The work included replacing the entire roof, removing old tile flooring to expose a polished concrete floor and installing new ceiling tiles. Old fluorescent lighting fixtures were also removed and replaced with more efficient LED lights.
It's been a personally meaningful project for Sample, a 35-year veteran of the retail industry who has worked in Fargo-Moorhead for more than a decade, since he joined Runnings in April. His prior experience includes 20 years with Kmart, including going through a Kmart store closing in Iowa in the early 2000s.
"To take a store that was closed down and refurbish it and to bring it back into something is pretty special to me," he said.
Sample said the family owned Runnings chain continues to grow, even in the midst of downturns and tough times for many larger retail chains as shopping and spending habits shift online. He attributed the brand's success to its commitment to selling quality products and offering top-notch customer service.
"We really focus on having product in-stock, meeting those demands of the customers and providing them with the service they're looking for," he said.
Sample said he's enjoyed being able to put a local touch on the store, including using historical photos of community sites and new pictures of local landmarks like the Veterans Memorial Bridge on signs that hang from the ceiling.
He said the store has a staff of about 60. Sample said the Moorhead store will hold a grand opening celebration Oct. 18-22 that will include door prizes and giving away a 2017 Dodge pickup to one lucky winner.
Where: 3000 U.S. Highway 10 E., Moorhead
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Phone: (218) 512-0382