BREAKING NEWS

Blain's Farm and Fleet Continues Strong Investment and Expansion Plan with New Stores in Michigan

 Blain's Farm & Fleet is pleased to announce that it will be entering Michigan in 2018. Blain's has identified prime locations throughout Michigan for new Blain's Farm & Fleet stores and they are in various stages of development. The first two locations are planned to open in Jackson and Portage this fall.  These new locations will bring the total number of Blain's Farm & Fleet Stores to 40.

"Several years ago we announced an aggressive expansion and reinvestment plan," said Jane Blain Gilbertson, Owner and President of Blain's Farm & Fleet. "In the first steps of that plan, we opened our new stores in Romeoville and Elgin, IL, and we are currently making significant investments in remodeling and expanding existing stores in Rice Lake, WIand Kankakee/Bourbonnais, IL.  Expansion into Michigan is the next step." Blain's Farm & Fleet is a second generation family-owned company that has been serving customers since 1955, and Jane, the daughter of Founder Bert Blain, has personally championed the effort to bring Blain's Farm & Fleet to Michigan. "We welcome the opportunity to serve the hard-working people of Michigan." 

Blain's Farm & Fleet's expansion comes after significant exploration into various markets throughout the Midwest.  Michigan and the Jackson and Portage locations were specifically chosen after careful consideration of hundreds of potential areas.  "It all starts with the customers – or, as we like to think of them, our new neighbors," says Kristin Stewart, Chief Marketing Officer. "We have had so many requests by Michigan residents to build a store in their hometown.  They really got our attention.  Combine that with the recommendations that we have received from the companies that make the quality brands we carry in our store, and we knew this was an area where we would be welcomed."  Blain's also considered the population base, including homeowners, families, hobby farmers and rural shoppers, that all tend to be strong supporters of Blain's Farm & Fleet Stores.

Michigan has also played an important role in the rapid growth of Blain's FarmandFleet.com business.  "Our online ecommerce business is booming with strong sales throughout the U.S.," says Stewart. "Michigan is one of our best ecommerce states.  Opening local stores will allow us to better serve these customers with 2 hour pick-up of online orders and our innovative Drive Thru Service."  All Blain's Farm & Fleet locations currently offer pick-up of online orders in 2 hours or less and Drive Thru Service, where customers on-the-go can pull up and purchase items like pet food, softener salt and mulch without an advance order, similar to a fast food drive thru.

Both online and brick and mortar expansion has been part of Blain's deliberate strategic growth initiative. "We have been bucking the retail trend, showing successful growth as other retailers are shrinking," says Alejandro Montoya, Chief Financial Officer.  "But, unlike other retailers, we do not expand quickly and then close stores later, leaving the communities and families that counted on them.  In fact, in our 63 year history, we have never left a community where we have built a store.  So, we are very careful about the locations that we choose.  We are very excited about Michigan.  It is a perfect fit." 

In Jackson, MI, the project has nearly cleared township approvals.  The new 120,000 square foot store will be located at 3555 O'Neill Drive.  This is the site of a former Kmart.  Blain's will be remodeling both the interior and exterior of the building including renovating the automotive service center with new state-of-the-art technology to meet Farm & Fleet's high standards. 
The Portage, MI, location is awaiting typical final approvals which are expected in the coming weeks.  The store will be located at 879 Mall Drive behind the Crossroads Mall and next to the Celebration Theaters.  Blain's will be adding approximately 30,000 square feet to the existing building to create a 109,000-square foot store.  The existing building will be renovated to include a new automotive service center.

With over 4,100 current associates, Blain's Farm & Fleet employs over 100 people per store, including store associates, automotive service professionals, warehouse and stocking crews and management teams.  "When we open up a new store, we are really putting down roots in a community.  Blain's has a unique culture that strives to treat our associates like family, and we are in it for the long haul," says Dennis Armstrong, Chief Human Resources Officer.  "We have a great track record of keeping store associates for long careers which is unusual in the retail world.  We are very proud of the strong customer-focused culture we have built and look forward to bringing it to our new neighbors in Michigan."

Blain's Farm & Fleet is a Janesville, WI-based, family-owned retailer with strong family values, born and raised in America's heartland.  They have earned the trust of Midwest families because they understand that their customers deserve to be treated honestly and fairly – the way they would treat a member of their own family.  Since 1955, Blain's has earned the reputation of choosing only the highest quality products and brands and offering them at Farm & Fleet prices.  Blain's Farm & Fleet has 38 locations throughout Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin with a wide variety of products that appeal to everyone, causing many shoppers to say, "If Farm & Fleet doesn't have it, you don't need it."  Here is an example of some of the products and brands you will find at a Blain's Farm & Fleet:

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