TICONDEROGA — National farm and tool supply chain Runnings is headed for the former Lowe’s Home Center building in Ticonderoga.
The Ticonderoga store would employ 50 to 75 full- and part-time employees, Runnings Marketing Director Dennis Jensen said Wednesday.
The Marshall, Minn.,-based firm plans to convert the store and open in spring 2015, he said.
“The transaction is pending. We have every intention of proceeding as quickly as we can to a running store.”
Runnings is buying the 102,000-square-foot building from the Lowe’s Property Management division, with the price and details still being worked out, Jensen said.
The Lowe’s building has been vacant since the building supply store closed in 2011 after citing lower than expected sales.
Runnings, which operates 34 retail stores throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana, is expanding into New York state, with five new stores on the drawing board. It will also open one location in Claremont, N.H., corporate officials said.
“This is a part of an extensive plan to move into five locations in upstate New York and one in New Hampshire. We have three stores this fall opening in upstate New York.”
Those will be located in Gloversville, Canandaigua and Rome, while stores in Ticonderoga, Clay and Claremont, N.H., have a spring 2015 tentative opening.
In each case, the retailer is looking at closed home-supply stores or Wal-Marts, buying the buildings then hiring contracting firms to renovate them.
“Opening a store is an extensive process (that involves) recruiting and hiring people to run the store and marketing ourselves,” Jensen said.
Runnings started as an automotive supply store in December 1947, when founder Norman “Red” Running opened his first location in Marshall, Minn. The firm has been owned by Dennis and Adele Reed since the mid 1980s.
The company sells farm and livestock equipment and supplies; hunting and fishing equipment; housewares; automotive goods; plumbing; electrical; clothing; footwear; hardware, lawn and garden supplies; paint; pet supplies; sporting goods; and tools.
North Country Community College had proposed a possible use of the old Lowe’s building as a technical-vocational school, but that was only in the study stage.
Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matthew Courtright said they’ve been in contact with the marketing agent for Lowe’s, the Dartmouth Company, which has a regional office in Latham.
“We have kept ongoing communication with the leasing company for the building, and in November of 2013, we were contacted by Runnings to provide a variety of information and resources,” he said by email Wednesday.
“We will continue to work with Runnings as the process of them locating in Ticonderoga hopefully continues.
“They (Runnings) are hopeful and have every intention of moving forward, with the possibility of opening in the spring of 2015 in Ticonderoga.
“We will continue to work closely with the company and provide them with the services and resources needed as they expand into the New York market.”
The staff at Runnings is enthusiastic about the new challenges of moving into a new market, Jensen said.
“We offer customers top brands in everything from sporting goods to home and garden — everything to run your life,” Jensen said.
“We’re really excited to be coming into the region and getting open.”
Email Lohr McKinstry:firstname.lastname@example.org