Blain's Farm & Fleet

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Blain's Farm & Fleet
Family owned
IndustryRetail
Founded1955 by brothers W.C. (Claude) Blain and N.B. (Bert) Blain
HeadquartersJanesville, Wisconsin, United States
Number of locations
40 stores (2018)
ProductsClothing, footwear, housewares, lawn & garden, farm equipment, automotive, sporting goods, hunting fishing, toys
WebsiteFarmAndFleet.com

Blain's Farm & Fleet is a regional chain of 41 retail stores in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan. The stores sell tires, agricultural supplies and equipment, hunting and fishing equipment and licenses, kitchen appliances, housewares, automotive goods, men's & women's clothing, household hardware, lawn and garden supplies, outdoor power tools, pumps and generators, paint, pet supplies, candy, sporting goods, tools and toys. Blain's Farm & Fleet was an early adopter of "buy online, pick up at the store" in which all stores provide a drive-thru pick-up experience so online orders can be retrieved without consumers having to leave the car.[1]

History[edit]

Blain's Farm & Fleet location in Verona, Wisconsin
Interior of a recently opened Blain's location in Traverse City, Michigan

The company was founded in Janesville, Wisconsin, in 1955 by brothers W. C. "Claude" Blain and N. B. "Bert" Blain.[2] Similarly-named Mills Fleet Farm was also founded in 1955 by Blain family friends. The two families agreed to use similar names and have historically operated in different territories.[3][4] Each Blain's retail store is part of Farm and Fleet Stores which operate in four divisions by region, while the distribution is handled by a separate entity, Blain Supply.[5] The business is family-owned, privately held corporation run by President and CEO Jane Blain Gilbertson since her brother, Robert Blain, retired in 2014. Robert had been President since 1993, taking over after the death of Bert Blain.[2][6] The chain has one distribution center in Janesville. In January 2018, the company announced it would be expanding into Michigan with 3 stores located in Portage, Jackson, and Traverse City.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, Janelle (September 14, 2016). "Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce's luncheon". The Chicago Tribune.
  2. ^ a b Murphy, Jean (May 22, 2018). "Modern day general store found in suburbs". Daily Herald. Arlington Heights, Illinois.
  3. ^ "Video: Mills Fleet Farm and Blain's Farm & Fleet enter a new era". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. June 6, 2017.
  4. ^ Adams, Barry (August 14, 2008). "No Family Feud for Farm & Fleet, Fleet Farm". Wisconsin State Journal.
  5. ^ "Company info". Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  6. ^ Gores, Paul (May 13, 2014). "Blain's Farm and Fleet executive retiring". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  7. ^ "Blain's Farm & Fleet announces third Michigan location". The Gazette. Janesville, Wisconsin. January 22, 2018.

External links[edit]