Runnings calls cavalry to Mobridge; Beadles buy Larry Jensen dealership

Farm Forum

In old movies, the U.S. Cavalry would ride to the rescue of a group of soldiers under siege. The dashing horsemen would provide the reinforcements needed to ensure a victory.

Runnings has its own cavalry when a new store opens or expands. In Mobridge, 37 Runnings employees from three states have descended to set up the local store after a major expansion. The store size has increased from 24,500 square feet to 40,500 square feet.

I talked to Dennis Jensen, marketing manager for the Runnings corporation, who is in Mobridge helping lead the team of workers from other stores, including three employees from the Aberdeen Runnings store.

Those workers assist the store’s regular employees in arranging and stocking the store.

In Mobridge, the extra help has allowed the store to stay open during its regular hours and complete the set-up in about a week.

“It is an all-call,” said Jensen.

I asked Jensen if it was like the cavalry coming to the rescue and he said yes, with bugle call and everything.

Team members drove from Bismarck, N.D., Rapid City and other places to stay in a hotel and work. Many arrived Sunday night in preparation for the big push, which began Monday. The job is expected to be substantially finished today.

Store manager Leo Dillman said he is excited to have a bigger store.

“The community is very excited about it,” he said. “It gives the people the opportunity to get more of what they need.”

For example, the sporting goods department is able to offer more fishing rods, lures and tackle, Jensen said.

Runnings, with headquarters in Marshall, Minn., has built its business on serving the agricultural community, and farmers will always be a core customer group, he said. The focus of Runnings’ product line expansion, however, is on sporting goods, clothing and footwear.

I asked Jensen about the planned new store for Aberdeen. He said that while there is going to be a new store in Aberdeen – land has already been purchased near the intersection of U.S. highways 12 and 281 – no construction start date has been set. He said Runnings corporation is looking forward to building in Aberdeen and will announce a date as soon as it is known.

After it is built, employees from across the region will come here to set it up. The cavalry will descend on Aberdeen.

Mobridge dealership

The other big business news in Mobridge is that Jerry and Joe Beadle have bought the Larry Jensen Motors Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealership.

The Beadle family has been very successful in the auto business. Robert Beadle, Jerry and Joe’s father, founded Beadle Ford in 1975. He then added Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep to his product line in 1987.

About eight years ago, Jerry and Joe opened Beadle Sales, a Ford dealership in Mobridge. Now with the purchase of the Chevrolet dealership in Mobridge, the Beadle family can offer vehicles from the big three American manufacturers: Ford, GM and Chrysler.

I talked to Jerry on the phone, and he said the purchase of the Chevy dealership was a good fit for them. The Mobridge dealership has 15 employees.

Beadle also has a used car dealership in Faulkton.