Human Resources, Real Estate, and Retail

Department store coming to suburb

October 23, 2019
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Blain's Farm & Fleet men's clothing section
Blain's Farm & Fleet, founded in 1955, is owned by Jane Blain Gilbertson, the daughter of N.B. Blain, who co-founded the business. Photo via fb.com

A Midwest retailer is continuing its West Michigan expansion.

Janesville, Wisconsin-based Blain’s Farm & Fleet "reached an agreement" for a fifth Michigan location in Walker, on the corner of Wilson Avenue and Lake Michigan Drive, according to the company today.

Blain’s is planning to construct a 106,000-square-foot department store with an automotive service center and a full drive-thru area, which will allow customers to make purchases without leaving their vehicles.

Blain’s Farm & Fleet hopes to begin construction early next year and open the store next fall.

The new store will bring about 100 new jobs to the community, including store managers, cashiers, department product experts, small engine repair and auto service technicians and managers. The company plans to host hiring fairs next summer and fall.

With the addition of Walker, Blain’s will be able to "better serve the Grand Rapids area."

“Everything is falling into place,” said Jane Blain Gilbertson, owner and president, Blain’s Farm & Fleet. “We would like to thank Mayor (Gary) Carey and the entire planning, development and engineering teams for their professionalism and assistance, as well as the leadership at Meijer’s, who will be our new neighbors.”

The Walker announcement come on the heels of Blain’s opening a store in Holland earlier this month. The company also operates stores in Portage, Jackson and Traverse City.

The store will give Blain's Farm & Fleet 43 locations across Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Iowa.

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