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Gravely on Saturday hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting at Brillion Power Equipment, celebrating the company's new concept store.
Ariens Company Chairman & CEO Dan Ariens, Brillion Power Equipment Business Partner and Store Manager Mike Buboltz, Wisconsin State Assembly Rep. Ron Tusler, Brillion Mayor Gary Deiter and Ariens Company representatives attended the event.
The grand opening offered several activities for attendees, including a demo area for test riding zero-turn mowers, a chain saw carver, demonstrations from STIHL, kids crafts from the Brillion Nature Center and a brat fry benefiting Brillion High School. Guests who attended also had the chance to win one of several product giveaways from Ariens, Gravely and STIHL.
In February, Ariens announced the purchase of a vacant building across the street from the company's headquarters with plans to create a fully-operational concept store that Ariens employees could use to test cutting-edge merchandising concepts.
"The store will be used to demonstrate best-in-class dealership practices, test merchandising concepts that might be offered to our network of dealers, and learn more about overall customer experience," says Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO of Ariens Company.
Ariens Company has partnered with local Ariens and Gravely dealer Mike Buboltz to manage the store as a power equipment dealership. Buboltz is the owner of Hardware Plus, located in downtown Brillion, which has sold Ariens equipment since 2011. The new dealership will be open to the public for sales of Ariens® and Gravely® brand outdoor power equipment and parts sales. Hardware Plus will continue to perform service at its downtown Brillion location.
"We feel honored that Ariens Company chose us to manage their new concept store," says Buboltz. "This is a great opportunity for us to partner with the Ariens Company to showcase their world class equipment made right here in Brillion, Wisconsin."
With the store's opening, a building for a long time sat vacant on one of the cities most travelled roads is alive again.
"This was an opportunity for us to take a space that was really becoming an eye sore in our community and to turn it into something that the city can embrace," said Ariens. "We have a great corporate headquarters and a fantastic museum in Brillion, but we didn't have a dedicated space to showcase our latest and greatest innovations. This store will allow the community, our dealers and everyone else we partner with to come in and see what we're creating."
This is not a factory direct store with discounted products and close-out pricing, according to Ariens, but instead, is an independently-operated dealership with Buboltz managing day-to-day retail activities, while product placement, point-of-sale, and marketing support will come directly from the Ariens Company marketing team.
The store will assist the company in gathering customer feedback and retail best practices that will benefit the entire Ariens and Gravely dealer base, according to Ariens. The company has more than 1,500 dealers throughout North America who sell lawn, snow and commercial outdoor power equipment. Ariens and Gravely dealers, who make regular visits to Brillion, will have an opportunity to gain insight on the best practice concepts during visits to the store.
The dealership will include new concepts in store point-of-sale, Ariens Company brand signage and imaging, product display and merchandising concepts for accessories, parts and equipment unique to the outdoor power equipment industry.