Shoppers Supply is headed west.
The Fort Dodge-based retailer will open a sixth outlet in late 2011.
The new store will be located in Apache Junction, Ariz. - marking Shoppers' first foray out of Iowa.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Shoppers Supply employees, from left, Tyler Schmidt, Jeff Lohmeier and Ryan Beenken pose with a season’s worth of snow blowers at the Fort Dodge store. The three will entering management positions at a new store in Arizona where snow blowers may be one of the last things they see in their work.
Jim Schmidt, owner and president of Shoppers Supply, has spent part of his winter in Apache Junction for a number of years, said Steve Licata, Shoppers Supply general manager.
According to Licata, Schmidt noticed that the town, approximately 35 miles east of Phoenix, lacked stores comparable to Shoppers, which offers farm supplies, general hardware, automotive and other household products.
"He's been looking for a location for the last four years," Licata said.
The new location is an opportunity to expand and strengthen the existing business, Licata said.
The Arizona store will be comparable to the Fort Dodge location, he said.
Among the similarities, the Apache Junction Shopper Supply will occupy a former K-Mart store. Fort Dodge's Shoppers Supply relocated to a closed K-Mart in 2004.
Products at the Apache Junction store will be tailored somewhat to the local market, according to Licata, as snow blowers and mittens will give way to ranching supplies.
Several familiar faces will staff the new store.
The Fort Dodge location has served as training ground for the Apache Junction store's management team.
Tyler Schmidt, son of Jim Schmidt, will manage the store on site. He's worked in Fort Dodge for the past four years and represents the third generation of Schmidts to oversee Shoppers, which was founded by his grandfather, George Schmidt. He said he plans to be on the ground in Arizona by Oct. 18.
Tyler Schmidt will be joined by Fort Dodgers Jeff Lohmeier and Ryan Beenken to round out the management team.
"It was a really good opportunity," said Lohmeier, who plans to leave for his new home on Oct. 22. "It's neat to get in on the ground floor."
Contact Jesse Helling at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org