Farm and ranch retailer Peavey Mart has opened its 40,000 square foot Flagship store in the company’s homebase of Red Deer, Alberta.
“It was obvious to have a flagship presence in your home centre,” said Jest Sidloski, Vice President of Marketing, Customer Experience & eCommerce at Peavey Mart. “We’re from Red Deer. The brand head office is in Red Deer. It was no surprise to anyone that our flagship needed to be here.”
Planning for the company’s flagship had been years in the making, allowing for the new build to be turned around from shovels in the ground to welcoming first customers in a year.
“We broke ground in April 2021 and the new location soft-opened in late April 2022. The anticipation from the community made the build feel like it took longer, but when you actually look at the moment that shovels went into the ground only a year before opening and then you hear ‘was it really that fast?’ and it was incredible build time.”
The store will provide the company a new innovation hub to create a new feeling for the retailer, which has roots that go back to 1967 when it started as National Farmway, a chain of “super farm markets” whose first location opened in Dawson Creek, BC.
With a network of 90 stores from coast to coast, the flagship is the largest in the chain.
“What consumers get from that Flagship experience is more than a brand new look, and it is a completely brand new look. It’s a very modern ‘farm and ranch’, so it instantly looks like a Peavey Mart yet it’s also unlike anything that the consumer has seen with a Peavey Mart.”
“We are able to feature more of the customer’s favourite products and brands, with more selection but also with more quantities due to the increased shelf space.
One of the recognizable features for the retailer is the clientele that they serve and how the old Red Deer location was a product of temporary solutions that were impacting the customer experience.
“When the location became available in South Red Deer, it gave us the space to do what our customers were looking for from this store. The original Red Deer location, at one time, was on the edge of the city with acres and acres of land surrounding it. As the city grew, the land was sold and developed – and at the end, we were sharing a parking lot with a dollar store and a bottle depot. This impacted the access for our rural customers who were looking to come into the store with a trailer.”
“Unlike other retailers, Peavey Mart has a large portion of our goods in an outside selling space. From farming equipment to panels and gates, the store was discombobulated and actually across the parking lot.
“With the new location, the outside selling area is built right onto the store, alongside our massive new greenhouse, which is attached to our building versus having some kind of standalone unit.”
Sidloski also shared what the brand incorporated into the planning before the flagship opened to the public.
“About a month before opening, our CEO Doug Anderson, held an AI summit with our Red Deer associates and many of the corporate employees about the Flagship. He said ‘It’s not just the store. It’s not just the brand. It’s not just the look. It’s not just the customer story. The flagship is also how our teams interact with each other and support each other.’
“All levels of the store were able to discuss with the executive team and all levels of management what we needed to have in order to be successful with this location. We took a lot of feedback and ideas and put it into the store what we introduced to the community.”
With the new flagship opening in a community with one of the original stores in the chain, the brand was able to secure institutional knowledge by having existing employees move across town.
“In the original location and the employees that came to our new flagship, there were hundreds – literally hundreds of years of Peavey experience in that building. There are employees who have been with us for decades, and it allows for our customers to benefit from the product knowledge.”
The brand held a three-day grand opening celebration from June 3-5th, 2022, which culminated with a sold-out concert from the new store.
“It’s an exciting year again for Peavey, with Peace River, Vegreville and Lacombe are all underway. Peace River is a brand new build with a smaller footprint than Red Deer, expecting to open this summer. Lacombe and Vegreville are set to open in a month, as those are expansions to those locations.”
Retail Insider worked with Peavey Mart to announce a new store in Bedford, Nova Scotia, which will be opening in the fall. Salmon Arm, BC, will also be opening in the same timeframe.
“We are excited to be opening up two locations on the opposite ends of the country, while furthering our footprint from coast to coast.
As Peavey Mart continues to expand and open new stores, the question was asked if the future stores will all see elements from the Flagship.
“We are an opportunity retailer, so not all of our new locations will be ground-up builds. A lot will be taking over old buildings or other existing retail structures, but this location will provide learnings that we can take and try to put them into future locations and then anytime we have the opportunity to go back and reset an existing location – it’ll likely have some of those elements as well.”
“I think the organization will look at this blueprint going forward for new locations, certainly as a look and feel.”