Radco Truck Accessory Center, the long-standing business on Highway 25 in east Brainerd, is planning a move to Baxter.
The company announced Tuesday it is pursuing the relocation into the former Floor to Ceiling Store just off Highway 371. Radco is a division of Silver Star Industries Inc., which is a locally owned company employing 65 people. Company headquarters and a manufacturing division would remain in east Brainerd while the retail and warehouse facility would move to Baxter.
“We have had a terrific run here at the Highway 25 facility, and we want to sincerely thank all of our friends who we have helped for 30 plus years,” Brian Skogen, company president, said in a news release. “The opportunity that presents itself in relocation is invigorating. While we have an established track record here on the east side of town, it’s obvious that traffic patterns and commerce in general have gravitated to west Brainerd and the 371 corridor in Baxter. With the Steiger family’s decision to close their Floor to Ceiling store, we have a rare find with both a location and building size that mirrors our needs today and for years to come.”
A dozen employees would relocate with the move. In a telephone interview, Skogen said renovations are planned at the Floor to Ceiling Store and once those are completed, Radco would be on track to open in Baxter on April 1.
The move would relocate the retail show floor, installation services and warehouse to the Baxter building. The company reported its bookkeeping and office staff will also be relocated to Baxter. Radco has been in east Brainerd since 1976. Skogen said while the company has a reputation and business from area residents, others are not as willing to search them out off Highway 25. The former Floor to Ceiling Store provided an opportunity for greater visibility for the retail side of the business, Skogen said.
“Accessory Pro Warehouse, our wholesale truck accessories division and our Radco.com e-commerce site have also been growing and causing our present warehouse to be bursting at the seams, so, having a larger warehouse will allow us to make even better inventory decisions and improve our efficiencies in the warehouse” Skogen said.
Tom Steiger, president and general manager of the Floor to Ceiling Store, said the contraction of the second home market that was a boon to the company’s growth was a major player in its demise. The construction and remodeling business for the store went from the best markets in the state to one of the worst.
Steiger said the move online wasn’t a major effect as some people were making purchases online for items like wallpaper, but most products like countertops, carpeting and tile were too big and bulky. Steiger said mostly customers were using the Internet to be more educated about products and price shopping. The big box stores also were an influence as far as competition, but Steiger said the body blows came from the housing market meltdown and inactivity in the second home market as people with money weren’t spending it because of economic and political uncertainty.
“The recession was the big blow,” Steiger said. “It just wasn’t going to let you by.”
In a written statement, Joan and Tom Steiger said they wanted to welcome the Radco Truck Accessory Center to Dellwood Drive.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Brian Skogen and Phil Reece through the planning of their relocation to the new location. After 37 years in business in Baxter, we are very grateful to our many loyal customers and hard-working employees that made us successful through the years. We wish the Radco team much success in their new facility.”
About Radco: Radco Truck Accessory Center in Brainerd is one of seven retail stores selling and installing automotive aftermarket accessories. Radco stores are also located in St. Cloud, Duluth, Blaine and Burnsville, as well as Sioux Falls, S.D. and Fargo, N.D. Radco Truck Accessory Centers and Accessory Pro Warehouse are divisions of Silver Star Industries. With the move, the Radco building will be vacated.
It’s unclear at this time whether the move will involve a lease or a sale of the Floor to Ceiling Store building.
Skogen said while the Floor to Ceiling Store closing was an end of an era — as the store was in business for a total of 44 years and covering three family generations — it was opening a door for another locally owned business.
“We’re just happy to be able to do it and participate in the growth of the city,” Skogen said.
“It will be a great location for them,” Steiger said.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.