Janesville, WI: Blain’s Farm & Fleet is thrilled to announce its plans for an expanded presence in Wisconsin with new stores in Grafton and Rhinelander. The 44th and 45th locations will be at the corner of East Timber Lane and Hwy 17 (Chippewa Drive) in Rhinelander and the former Shopko building at 1771 Wisconsin Avenue in Grafton. Both locations have a projected completion for Fall 2022.
“It’s not just about growing. It is about carefully selecting the right communities who truly appreciate our family-owned Modern General Store,” says Jane Blain Gilbertson, Blain’s Farm & Fleet President, Owner, and CEO. “We are very selective about the locations where we choose to grow because we are in it for the long haul. Unlike other retailers who close stores regularly, we have never left a community where we have opened a store.”
With the opening of five new locations within the last three years in Michigan alone, Blain’s Farm & Fleet is looking forward to expanding its presence within their home turf in Wisconsin—the state where the original Blain’s Farm & Fleet vision came to fruition over 66 years ago. Blain’s Farm & Fleet has long planned to expand into Rhinelander and Grafton, specifically in Rhinelander, having purchased the land several years ago. With both communities experiencing incredible growth, Blain’s Farm & Fleet is excited to work closely with local officials to complete both projects in 2022 and contribute to the area’s economic and industry growth.
Each store will include the new, modern Blain’s Farm & Fleet design. The Grafton location will be 94,500 square feet, and the Rhinelander location will be 84,200. Both sites will feature the signature benefits customers can expect from each Blain’s Farm & Fleet store, like a state-of-the-art automotive service center, full drive-thru area, small engine repair center, and more.
These new stores will bring about 100 new jobs to each community. These will include a mix of full-time and part-time positions, including store managers, cashiers, department product experts, small engine repair, and auto service technicians and managers. The company is planning to conduct hiring fairs in Summer and early Fall 2022.
“These are two communities where we have wanted to be a part of for a long time because the quality of products we serve compliment the quality of life these communities represent,” says Jane Blain Gilbertson. “For Rhinelander in particular, we’ve been working toward this opportunity for several years. This location is special to me because we’ve wanted to be nearer to my Dad and Uncle’s stomping grounds in northern Wisconsin.”
Growing up in Weyerhaeuser, Wisconsin, Norman “Bert” Blain and William “Claude” Blain worked in their dad’s feed mill. Later, they opened Chevy and Oldsmobile dealerships in Weyerhaeuser, Bruce, and Ladysmith, WI. In 1955, they created the original Blain’s Farm & Fleet, opening stores in Janesville and Rice Lake. Sixty-six years later, Blain’s Farm & Fleet is still owned by the same family and has stood the test of time, with 43 stores currently operating across Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan.
In addition to high-quality products with the Blain’s Farm & Fleet brand name, these locations will carry top-rated brands, including:
- Clothing: Carhartt, Dickies, Under Armour, Columbia, Levi’s, Lee, Life is Good, WorkNSport
- Footwear: Skechers, Puma, Keen, Asics, New Balance, CAT, Carhartt, Hey Dude, Sorel, TimberlandPro, Crocs
- Tools & Hardware: DeWalt, Milwaukee, Stanley, Craftsman, Hobart
- Paint & Supplies: Benjamin Moore, Valspar, MinWax, Rustoleum, Graco, Purdy
- Automotive: Pennzoil, Valvoline, Mobil 1, Mystik, Fram, Prestone, Sea Foam, Meguiar’s
- Tire & Auto Repair Service: Michelin, Goodyear, Cooper
- Sporting Goods: Realtree, Scent Blocker, Yeti, Coleman, Rapala, Plano, St. Croix, Browning, Winchester
- Home & Housewares: KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Keurig, T-Fal, Lodge, Dyson, Calphalon, DeLonghi
- Pet Department: Purina, Blue Buffalo, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Kong, Greenies, Diamond, Eukanuba
- Agriculture: King Kutter, Nutrena, Behrens, Guardian, Manna Pro, Ware, Weaver Leather, Agrimaster
- Lawn & Garden: Scotts, Miracle-Gro, RoundUp, Fiskars, Weber, Char-Broil, Estate
- Outdoor Power Equipment: Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, Briggs & Stratton