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Ace opens in larger space

By Wendy Sweeter

Ace’s new space in Tea opened in October. The much larger space allows for more items to be displayed and showcased.

Ace opened in its larger space in October.

The new store, which connects to the old building on Heritage Parkway, has 16,000 square feet. The old building was about 10,000 square feet. COO Jason Melcher said the old building will turn into a warehouse and storage area for not only the Tea store but will also have bulk items for the Lennox and Harrisburg stores.

In their Ace co-op, they own the Ace stores in Tea, Lennox, Harrisburg, Hartford, Dell Rapids and Brandon. The Tea location is by far their largest building. They built their store in Dell Rapids first, then Harrisburg three years ago, Hartford last year and Tea this year.

The old building opened as a TruValue store in 2005. They converted it to an Ace in 2011. With the growth of the community, it was time to increase the size of the store in Tea.

“It was way past due,” Melcher said. “We had purchased the land several years earlier knowing that one day we’re going to expand. The community for sure needed it. The response we’ve gotten just shows it needed to be a bigger building.”

He noted that store manager Alex Baran did an amazing job with what they had to work with for a long time. This larger space allows them to serve the growing community better, he said.

“We knew that we needed to do something because the space was too cramped and small,” Melcher said. “We know we needed to expand so we could better serve everybody.”

With the new space, they were able to increase their inventory by half a million dollars of expanded inventory. They are also able to display more items. In the past, they could only display two or three mowers and a couple of grills. The new space allows for considerably more inventory to be on display.

“Our outdoor power and our outdoor grilling, it takes up the entire front of the store. Before we were able to display two grills, now we have 30-plus grills on display,” Melcher said.

The experience for customers is muncher better in the new retail space.

“It’s just a way better experience for the customer to be able to see and touch it and look at and it’s definitely showing that. We’ve sold more grills and snowblowers int he last three months than we did in the previous couple years,” he said.

While they opened the new retail space in October, they never really closed during the whole process. They were also able to hire five or six new employees. They are planning a customer appreciation event in May and a grand opening in June.

“We’re super excited about the new building and how it turned out. We thank everybody for putting up with what felt like a year-long process. The community response to the new store opening has just been better than we could’ve imagined,” Melcher said.


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