WEST FARGO-Neil Flick is slowly acclimating to North Dakota culture, but he's already learned two important lessons. The avid fisherman already knows what knoephla soup and lutefisk are.
North Dakota is new territory for the general manager of North Dakota's first Duluth Trading Co. store opening March 22 at 2261 Rustad Lane E. in West Fargo. The grand opening will begin with a 9 a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by public shows featuring professional lumberjacks from DLW Timberworks at 10:30 a.m. and noon.
Flick relocated here from Omaha, Neb., where he was an assistant store manager. This is the 33rd store for the company that features workman's and workwoman's tool and apparel lines. Flick said the company decided to build its first store in North Dakota based on online catalog sales.
Flick said the West Fargo store incorporates design elements from the local area and as well as North Dakota historical images. The location also features a "Builder's Lounge" where shoppers are able to relax and drink complimentary coffee.
Although Flick heard the local job market was tight, he said he didn't have too much trouble securing the 35-40 employees needed for the new 16,000-foot store.
He said the store has been received well, which he believes speaks to the company's brand and its infamous advertising campaigns.
"That says something about the quality of folks that we had come in, but it also says something about our brand and the culture we have here as a company," he said.
Flick said customers here have been looking forward to an North Dakota location for a long time. Duluth Trading Co. has a devoted "neighborhood" or client base, he said.
"We want people to come in here and feel like they're our next-door neighbors," Flick said. "We're going to give you a cup of coffee, a bottle of water and definitely help you out."