Announcement made at Rivertown Days
By Bruce Karnick
Will there be lines like black Friday shopping events for the brandnew Fleet Farm in Hastings when the doors swing open for the first time on Friday, Sept. 9? No one knows, but one thing is certain: Hastings is excited to have a new store occupying the old Target building at 875 General Sieben Dr.
“They've been super welcoming, telling us how excited they are that we're going to be here, filling this space,” said General Manager Kyle Cupp about the Hastings community. “It's been it's been pretty fantastic outpouring of support.”
Cupp and his team were at their booth during Rivertown days this past weekend.
“Yeah, our booth was busy. All three days with community members coming up telling us how excited they were and asking questions. It was a fantastic partnership for us, and it was awesome. We donated tents for the chamber to use for the weekend. We were the primary sponsorship for the main stage, Stage 61. Down by the river, we provided the inflatables for the water feature with the unicorns
See FLEET FARM, Page 5
Fleet Farm of Hastings’ General Manager Kyle Cupp addresses the crowd right before Chris Kroeze took the stage for Rivertown Days Saturday evening. Cupp dropped the expected opening date on the crowd. September 9, 2022 at 7:00 a.m.
Photo by John McLoone and the Trexes so people can help cool down. We had quite a bit of swag that we're handing out there as well,” added Cupp.
Of course, the big draw for Fleet Farm was the moment where Cupp took the Fleet Farmsponsored Stage 61 to make the big announcement. Fleet Farm is ahead of schedule just weeks from opening their store.
“We’re excited for it,” said Cupp. “It seems like a long time away, but for me, it’s really crunch time.”
By that, he meant that his team is working hard to put the finishing touches on the store, getting things just right, getting everyone trained and ready to go with only seven weeks remaining before the grand opening.
“We designed the store with the community of Hastings in mind. So, we went really big in our power tools area. We were not planning on doing lumber in this location, but then being out in the public, we have had a lot of inquiries about lumber. So, we are adding a small selection of lumber to see how it does. If it does well, we'll add more. But we are going to open with a small selection just to see how it does based on the feedback we've gotten from the community,” explained Cupp. “We know that this is a huge fishing and marine community, so everything that we could fit in the store marinewise, is here. There's nothing in our assortment that we don't carry at this location, even though we are a smaller store. We made sure we went really big in sporting goods. This is the largest firearms counter in the company to date. So, we're very excited about that. We have a great archery selection. Everything outdoors, we went big. We also know that this is a big area for family pets. So, our pet selection is fantastic. And then of course we're going to have our apparel, consumables with our Fleet Farm branded candy which everyone knows and loves, along with a lot of garden and toys in the winter.”
Do not let the smaller size of the sales floor fool you. Of the 126,000 square feet of the building, 101,000 of that is dedicated sales floor space, compared to the two closest locations, Lakeville at 139,000 and Oakdale at 132,000.
“It is on a smaller scale for some of our stores, but it's a perfect opportunity for us to dial in what really sells and what the community needs,” added Cupp.
Where you will notice that is the outdoor yard, Cupp laughed.
“It’s going to be the tiniest yard we’ve ever done, so we are making sure we are strategic on what we're placing in there. We will have a gate and people will still be able to drive in and out with their car.”
The store is coming along nicely, but like any good GM, the nerves of that initial contact with the public is still hovering over Cupp’s head, who previously worked on the management team at the Fleet Farm in Hudson, WI and has been with the company for four years. He seems to have a great handle on things, and it is hard for him to contain his excitement for the opening.
“Everything's going really well here at the store. Our shelves are filling in quickly. We are just so excited to be here and be a part of the community. I don't think we could have picked a better community to join right now,” he stated.
Fleet Farm is a unique store and has a large selection of farm supplies for the agricultural community too. That is a staple that won’t be disappearing at the Hastings footprint.
“We will definitely have our farm selection here as well. Our King Kutter equipment, which is our outdoor machinery. We're going to have our gates and stuff like that and our feeders as well. They'll be on display on our sidewalks throughout the summer. But we definitely are big on farm,” added Cupp.
Of course, if there is something that is not available in the store, there is the option for customorders facilitated by staff or ordering online with a direct ship to your home.
Fleet Farm (www.fleetfarm.com) still hiring and those looking for a great company to work for can apply online.
Cupp’s final words? “We're excited to be here and we can't wait to meet everybody. September 9!”