The unique three-in-one business offers convenience and personal service. General Manager Matt Scantling described the store as“similar to the Walmart of thirty years ago.”The current farm supply store, hardware/building supply and now the Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts store provides a place for customers to get new tires, lube jobs, repairs and alignments. The whole facility is now a nice one-top destination.
In addition, the store will have a large sporting goods section, offering guns, ammo, hunting and fishing gear; a large patio/lawn section for furniture, grills, and lawn care; a technologically advanced paint destination; cleaning and home supplies, toys, shoes, and clothes.
“The lot here is so big that we have been able to add an additional structure to house the building materials and fill the rest of the space outside with farm/ranch supplies,” shared Scantling. “It is hard to describe everything that this store is going to have and I catch myself describing the place and saying oh, we have feed…canning supplies…kayaks…over a 150 different firearms…and we will have an area to sit down and grab a drink or biteto eat.”
With the store nearly 85% stocked, the owners, Albert and Aimee Littleton decided to host a “soft” opening this month, but with more products arriving daily, then holding an official grand opening in late March. “We will hold our Grand Opening in late March when the weather is warmer and we can be certain that additional products will have had time to arrive,”Scantling added. “That Grand Opening will be worth the wait with free food/drink, give-a-ways every hour, grand prizes, huge discounts across the store, and fill-the-bucket discount sale.”
Scantling indicated that they are still anticipating items in the clothing line. They have however, stocked brands like Skechers, Fruit of the Loom, Wrangler Jeans and Justin Boots to name a few.
“We are so excited about this store and about being a part of another great community,” said Scantling. “We truly hope that the people of Waldron will be pleased with what we offer to the community. We ask everyone to come by once we are open and introduce themselves. We honestly want to get to know our customers and if one doesn’t see something we should carry, let us know and we will try to get it.”
That attention to personal service and catering to the needs of the community is at the very heart of their business. The Littletons, who have strong family ties to the Waldron area, are passionate about success in small towns. In fact, that passion yielded the start of their business.
Albert grew up in Magazine and with those strong ties to the community. He wanted to do something to help his small, struggling hometown. This began a process of purchasing the local convenience store, remodeling an older building and putting in a hardware and building material store. Later, he would build a structure to house the auto parts store and tire/service center.
During this interval of construction and instituting new businesses for Magazine, the Littletons witnessed the devastating toll the closure of the Waldron Walmart store had on their community. Aimee, who is from Waldron, felt a call to action as she watched her old community suffer.
“We discussed the possibility of purchasing the building and following a similar business model like in Magazine, but we honestly felt like one of the farm and ranch chain stores would scoop it up and that it would be outside of our price range. After the building had been vacant for a little over a year, we sat down and discussed it again and made the decision to at least tour the facility and make inquiries as to the cost. That period of negotiation, getting environmental studies, working out details of our model, and the process of getting the building transferred to new ownership seems like an eternity ago now,” recalled Scantling. “One of the first things I did was to go over to the facility by myself with only a cell phone. I actually walked through the entire building and perimeter, recording the whole time, and talked myself through what needed to happen to make the building thrive again. It is humbling to go back and look at those recordings of falling ceiling tiles, leaking roof, empty spaces, cobwebs, with a few vermin and be proud now of what we were able to accomplish.”
The owners have already demonstrated their commitment to give back to the community. For example, those people who were hired to help with the remodel are local residents. “That is the kind of help we wanted to give to the community, not a bunch of broken promises, but jobs immediately with more jobs to come and places to shop to boot,” concluded Scantling. Overseeing the day to day operations, Store Manager, Frank Hart and Assistant Managers, Kevin Harrison and Ken Landon.