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69 posts categorized "Red Wing action"

November 10, 2015

Get ready to Primp

There's a lot of activity on the high-profile corner of 100 First Ave. SW in downtown Rochester.

The shiny signs are up, clothes are going up on racks and the new doors will open soon.

09112015primpPrimp, a popular Twin Cities boutique, is opening its first Med City store on Friday.

Owners Michele Henry and Wesley Uthus announced the opening on Monday.

"We're excited to announce our 7th location, in Rochester, MN, will be open this FRIDAY!… Can't wait to meet you all!," they exclaimed (hence the exclamation marks) on their Facebook page.

Primp carries a full array of women's apparel, from fancy dresses to denim and sweaters. Primp also stocks plenty of accessories, like handbags, jewelry and scarves.

It's tagline is 'Cheap, chic boutique.' Everything is less than $100. Most are items are less than $50.

The news of Primp coming to town broke in early October. It's stepping into the storefront which was the long-time home of the Rochester landmark, O&B Shoes. O&B marched less than a block away to 19 First Ave. SW in August.

"We were looking at a lot of places. But when this space came, we dropped all of the other locations," Henry said at the time. "There is such a great energy in downtown Rochester."

Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate Services brokered the deal to bring the brand into the Rochester market.

February 06, 2015

Only one area Radio Shack store to close due to bankruptcy

Bankrupt Radio Shack Corp. is closing hundreds of stores across the U.S., though Red Wing in the only southeastern Minnesota one slated to close up shop.

Radio Shack is also closing another 25 stores. Most are in the Twin Cities. Area stores in Rochester's Apache Mall, as well as in Winona and Austin, will remain open.

RadioShack_Logo_2013However, wireless provider Sprint will most likely become primary brand name on each as part of a deal to establish a “store within a store” in up to 1,750 of the acquired RadioShacks.

The 94-year-old Fort Worth-based retail icon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday.

The consumer electronics chain, which began in Boston in 1921 as a mail-order operation supplying ship radio equipment, made the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, listing assets of $1.2 billion and total debt of $1.3 billion.

    The company also announced an agreement with Standard General, a New York hedge fund which provided a rescue loan to the company last fall, to purchase between 1,500 and 2,400 of the 4,000 company-owned RadioShack stores.

    The remaining RadioShack stores will be closed and their inventory sold off, if approved by the bankruptcy court.

    “These steps are the culmination of a thorough process intended to drive maximum value for our stakeholders,” said RadioShack’s chief executive Joseph Magnacca in a statement. RadioShack has also secured about $285 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

    The Chapter 11 filing ends a long period of decline for what was once known as America’s Technology Store, which ushered in the electronics revolution with calculators, laptop computers and cell phones but was unable to adjust to the latest wave of change.

    RadioShack, named for the part of the ship that houses radio equipment, began in Boston by two brothers in 1921 as a small retail and mail-order business. In 1963, it was acquired by Fort Worth’s Tandy Corp., a leather goods company, and moved here. The name became synonymous with its first mass-marketed personal computer, the TRS-80. Tandy Corp. changed its name to RadioShack in 2000.

August 23, 2012

Tire centers change ownership

To give his tire business more traction in this region, Jerry Bauer of Bauer Built Inc. bought two Hanson Tire Service centers this week.

On Monday, the Durand, Wis.-based Bauer Built took over Hanson Tire's original headquarters in LeRoy along with a location in Preston. While the center will eventually change names, they will remain under the Hanson Tire name for now.

03bauer1"Our normal trend is to transition places we acquire over to the Bauer Built name sooner than later, but we're keeping these as Hanson Tire for a while," Bauer says. "They've been a very successful business, since 1953."

Almost all of Hanson's 20 employees are staying on under the new owner. Former owners Randy Eastvold and Greg Rollins, along with Ron Eastvold, are helping with the transition.

Bauer declined to discuss the financial terms of the acquisition.

These additions bring the tally of Bauer Built tire centers to 31, including ones in Rochester, Red Wing and Albert Lea. They also have seven Michelin retread plants, three wheel refinishing facilities and a bulk petroleum operation.

A second generation, family-owned business, Bauer Built was  founded by Sam Bauer in 1944.

Why add the LeRoy and Preston centers to the company's extension portfolio of facilities?

"We are always looking for going concerns that are profitable. They have many comparable products and they are very strong in agriculture," he says. "They will help us grow in that area."

Another reason is obvious from a quick look at the map. Bauer has locations surrounding the new additions.

"Geographically, they will fit in well and fill in some voids for us," he says.

This deal does not have any links to Hanson Tire of Austin, which has a different owner. The same is true of the Hanson Tire in Albert Lea, which has another owner.

Hanson Tire, started by Don and Donna Hanson in 1958, grew to 11 stores at one point. It was then recognized as the largest tractor and truck dealer in the nation.

There was once a Hanson Tire location in Rochester, but no longer.

May 22, 2012

Downtown Roch. grocery, apt. complex grinding ahead

05222012metromarketdemo1Now Friday's groundbreaking is in the past, so the downtown demolition is rolling in high gear at Rochester's First Avenue and Sixth Street S.W. this morning.

This is the Metropolitan Market Place project, a four-story apartment complex with the new People’s Food Co-op grocery store based on the main level.

The La Crosse, Wis.-based Gerrard Corp. is building the project.

The 62 apartments are expected to ready for tenants possibly by August 2013.

In today's paper, Edie Grossfield followed up with People's Food Co-op for more details on that piece of the project.

Co-op manager Liz Haywood said members of the Historic Southwest and Slatterly Park neighborhood associations expressed their excitement during the ground breaking.

"It's going to be amazing," Haywood said. "We've spent a lot of time during the past few weeks talking with people in the area and there's a lot of interest in natural, fresh and locally sourced food."

05222012metromarketdemo2However, the neighbors will have to wait, probably until August 2013, when the Metropolitan Market Place is expected to be completed. Being developed by Gerrard Corp., of La Crosse, Wis., the building will include four floors of apartments above the retail space.

The new store in Rochester will be about 26,000 square feet, compared to the existing store's 7,000 square feet. The largest expansion will be in the delicatessen area, Haywood said.

"We'll still have a hot bar and salad bar, but it will be greatly expanded," Haywood said. "We'll have rotisserie chickens, a cut-to-order meat department. Our meat sales have been growing … and we'll have full-service cheese, too."

The expansion of the co-op, especially the deli and meat department, will require an additional 50 employees beyond the current 35, she said.

January 05, 2012

Red Wing book store's final chapter

In one city's tale, it is the final chapter for its independent book store.

The Best of Times Bookstore in Red Wing started its 'Going Out of Business' sale this morning with the plan to close the doors for good by Jan. 31.

Here's some from the bookstore's Facebook page:

Despite our best efforts we could not fight the trifecta that has befallen our business: a bad economy, a street with many closed businesses with very VERY little traffic, and people's affection for spending their $ with Amazon.
We've had a blast and the memories are cherished. Thanks for our many fans through the 7 1/2 years - you have been extremely appreciated!


The independent shop is owned by Leslie Hakala. In November 2010, Hakala started brewing coffee drinks and tea and blending smoothies along with selling new and used books, says owner

At the time, Hakala said it made sense to add the caffeine connection when the two coffee shops that used to bookend either side of her store both closed last year.

Look for more about this closing soon, either in my column or from our Red Wing reporter.

November 23, 2011

Famous Footwear to close 145 stores

What's the story, Buster Brown?

Brown Shoe Co., which is the corporate parent of the Famous Footwear store, announced earlier this week that they plan to close 70 FF stores in fiscal 2011 and another 75 in 2012.

As is typical in such corporate pronouncements, no details as to what stores will close other than a distribution center in Wisconsin.

So it is u nclear if either of or both of the two Famous Footwear stores in Rochester might be on the list. Those stores located in the Broadway Commons by Kohl's and in the Rochester Marketplace by Target North.
The shoe retailer has had two stores in Rochester since 2001.

They also have a store in Red Wing.

I'm checking on this.

November 21, 2011

Is Thanksgiving shopping too much?

I'm writing a Black Friday shopping precede article.

Thanksgiving-turkeyThe hot topic seems to be the fact some stores are opening on Thanksgiving for shopping with Old Navy being open all day and Walmart opening at 10 p.m.

The bulk of other stores like Target, Best Buy and the most of the Apache Mall shops are opening at midnight, which is really only one minute away from Thanksgiving.

These moves have incensed many people and have inspired a wave declarations of the sacredness of Thanksgiving and outrage at this violation of the holiday.

• I'm looking for resactions from Rochester shoppers to this.

• Is this an abomination?

• Is it not a big deal?

• Are you going out to shop on Thanksgiving? Black Friday? Never?

• If you are going out early, what deals are drawing you out?




September 14, 2010

Action @ ex-Westfire Grille?

 OK, we know that the former Westfire Grille in northwest Rochester had its liquor license pulled and then it closed a few months later.

6a00d83451cc8269e201348522f98d970c-250wi After sitting empty for a while, Rochester developer Lowell Penz bought the building, presumably to lease it to someone already lined up for the place.

Since then it has been quiet.

But I noticed a couple trucks out front on Saturday. And then today a truck was parked by the front door in the handicapped space.

Nobody seemed to be around, but some kind or work or inspection seemed to be underway. Or maybe I'm just loopy.

Either way, stay tuned.

September 08, 2010

Red Wing co. lands $100,000 federal contract

Sulwade Here's an interesting piece of flotsam that just floated by me this morning.

Neufeldt Industrial Services Inc. of Red Wing recently won a $109,972 federal contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Paul for a stop log fabrication and installation at Grand Forks.

I'll have to check on how this contract might impact this company.

More on this later.

July 26, 2010

BIC Norwood to add more than 100 jobs in Red Wing

Here's some from a piece I wrote about jobs coming to Red Wing today. The full story is on today's front page and posted online here.

 With an expansion of its Red Wing facility nearly complete, Norwood BIC Graphic will soon start a search to fill more than 100 new jobs in Red Wing.

"This is probably one of the biggest boosts we've gotten," said Patty Brown, president of the Red Wing Chamber of Commerce. "Anytime you Bic logo-1can add 100 jobs to your tax base, that is good for everybody."

BIC bought Norwood Promotional Products last year for $162.5 million. Soon after the acquisition, BIC kicked off a 45,000-square-foot expansion at the Red Wing Norwood center at 5151 Moundview Drive.

More than 500 people work there, creating items for companies to give out as promotions.