After many weeks of conversion and preparation, five new Bomgaars stores, formerly Shoppers Supply, are now open for business in Humboldt, Eagle Grove, Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Webster City.
The sale of the five stores was announced in September and the became effective on Oct. 1, according to company officials.
The 42,000-square-foot Webster City store is located at 2403 Superior St. Donita Evans is the store manager, with approximately 16 employees from the local area rounding out the staff.
A store within the Bomgaars store, the DeWalt tool line is prominently displayed just inside the front door.
Evans said the store has a familiar feel to customers. The same types of merchandise carried by Shoppers Supply will continue to be offered, but Evans said Bomgaars has expanded the product lines to offer greater selection.
"We have stores within a store. Like our new DeWalt concept shop. We carry just about everything they offer," said Evans. The yellow and black DeWalt shop greets customers as they enter the store.
Sticking with the farm and home store theme, feed barns have been incorporated in the Webster City venue - one features feed for large farm animals and another for pets.
"We've expanded the selection of feed. We still carry many of what was previously carried, but customers will see some new brands like Diamond, more Purina products and the Bomgaars private label feeds," she said. The house brand offers quality feeds at a somewhat lower price point, she said.
Another new offering can be heard a few feet away from the feed area. Live chicks in several different varieties are available to purchase, Evans said. The store also plans to carry rabbits next year.
Evans said the store will feature an expanded lawn and garden department. They have increased the offerings of ceramic pots and decorative items, as well as landscaping materials like paving stones, soils, posts and other products.
"We're also going to have a greenhouse," she said. "That's coming in another week, so we'll be set up in time for Mother's Day."
Just three of the new Bomgaars stores will have the greenhouses, she said.
The store will also continue to offer a variety of mowers, tillers and other garden implements.
Evans said customers will still find the familiar well-stocked electrical, plumbing, automotive, paint, hardware, housewares, family and work clothing, and toys. Toys with a farm theme will now be available year-round, she said. In the past, the items were mostly stocked during the holiday season.
"These are a little more specialized toys that you wouldn't find at some of the mass merchants," Evans said.
Customers looking for some sturdy work clothing can visit the wall of denim at Bomgaars.
"Again, we have a lot of the same brands, but we've also expanded. Levis, Lee, Wrangler, Carhartt, Dickies and a private label price-point jeans as well," she said. Multiple pairs will be available in each size, she added.
"If you're one of those contractors or farmers who comes in twice a year to stock up on work clothes, you'll be able to get what you need all at one time," according to Evans.
A grand opening celebration is scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Registrations will be collected for two $250 shopping sprees and one $500 grand prize shopping spree. Free hot dogs and pop will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days. Store hours for the grand opening will correspond to the normal hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.