NEW ULM - Runnings has purchased the former Kmart building in New Ulm and plans to move its current New Ulm location into the building by early next year.
The purchase of the building was finalized on Aug. 30. The deal was part of larger deal in which Runnings also plans to move stores into the former Kmart buildings in Monticello and Austin. The difference with the other buildings was that Kmart was renting those buildings, so Runnings made a deal directly with the building owners and took over rental of the locations. New Ulm is the only location where a building was purchased.
The New Ulm and Monticello Kmart buildings were closed last year as part of larger closing by Kmart's owning entity Sears Holding. The Austin location was closed in 2010.
Staff photo by Josh Moniz
Runnings has purchased the former Kmart building and plans to move its current New Ulm store into the building early next year. The current Runnings store will then be sold.
Runnings' current location will be used until the move in finalized. Then, the current building will be put up for sale. Runnings has been in its current location for 10 years.
The entire 50-employee staff and equipment will be moved to the Kmart location by the time it opens its doors. Dennis Jensen, a Runnings spokesperson, said they also plan additional hiring to help manage the new location, thought the final number of new hires has not been set. The new hires will cover both part-time and full-time positions.
Jensen said Runnings will also expand available products in all their current offerings, with a heavy emphasis on expanding clothing, footwear and sporting goods.
He said the Kmart building was selected for their new location due to its prime location, and because Runnings "simply outgrew the space available at the current location."
The opening at the former Kmart start is tentatively set for the first quarter of 2014, though the move will at least be completed by that spring.
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.