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Mankato Fleet Farm

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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Mankato Fleet Farm

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The most anticipated store in recent MANKATO history opens its doors on Wednesday, as Fleet Farm shows off the new store design with several new offerings for the Midwest chain. Of all the other stores we've open, this one is it, say Stewart Mills II, who with his brother Hank built Fleet Farm Company after gaining their work ethic and business acumen from their father, who owns car dealerships and other businesses in Brainerd. Mills said MANKATO store hold special place, as it was long time coming and was put together thanks to his childhood friend, late John Kahler. The 183 600-square-foot store features farm supplies, lawn and garden and sporting goods in which the company has its roots, but it also carries everything from huge candy and snack section to women's clothing, shoes, kitchen and canning goods, large pet supplies section, patio furniture and building supplies. Director of Operations, Ken Frey, says the company has steadily added popular brands, such as Under Armour clothing, that people don't associate with Farm store. He says it's been difficult at times convincing certain brands which want to protect the integrity of their label from even selling to Fleet Farm. They say, 'you're Farm store. ' But we get them in here and they see we aren't just selling shovels and animal food, Frey say. He said the store has many new items and features that are being tested in MANKATO, including some frozen and refrigerated foods, and even a new line of natural frozen dog food advertise as more nutritious than traditional pet food. Brands sold in stores include Road Runner batteries and tires, Big Max trailers and automotive supplies, Field and Forest clothing and footwear, Fleet Boutique women's clothing, Dura-build Farm supplies and Milkhouse dairy supplies. For the past 20 years or more, Fleet Farm has been on the top of the wish list for many MANKATO area shoppers and over years rumors routinely circulated that it was about to open. Mills said he first looked for property in MANKATO many years ago but could never pull a deal together. That's when he turned to his lifelong friend Kahler, who runs Kahler Hotel group in Rochester and who had plenty of experience in developing properties. He also had familiarity with MANKATO as he and his family had lived here for several years and own and operate two Kahler Hotels in MANKATO. Kahler secured a prime chunk of property at the intersection of Highway 14 and 22 and Fleet Farm eventually took over ownership of 45-acre parcel, although it took its time moving ahead with a new store there. The announcement about the new store came one year ago this month. On Tuesday, plaque outside front of the store was unveiled honoring Kahler, who died in 2011. The company, in its third generation of family ownership, has 35 stores in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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