Family-owned appliance retailer hopes to expand business in Minneapolis
Warners’ Stellian has opened its tenth store, this time in Northeast Minneapolis, a move the Twin Cities-based appliance retailer hopes will help it reach the city’s growing urban population.
The familiarly red-painted facility, located along Broadway Street Northeast in the Mid-City Industrial neighborhood, is the company’s second largest outside its 160,000-square-foot headquarters and warehouse in St. Paul. President Robert Warner, a second-generation employee, said having a Northeast location puts the them in an “area of opportunity.”
“Being close to a major artery in a dense area with robust home improvement is very exciting. From a fulfillment standpoint, it’s an attractive location,” he said in a statement.
The store, which opened in late June in a space formerly occupied by Boyer Trucks, carries major kitchen appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and stoves; washers and dryers; HVAC products like air conditioners; grills and other appliances. At 10,000 square feet, the showroom is larger than Warners’ Stellian’s Minneapolis outlet store and about half the size of its Edina location.
The new facility has 70,000 square feet of bulk storage and some offices for sales and other staff. It will serve as an auxiliary distribution center to support the other nine stores in the Twin Cities metro. The store has an in-house Styrofoam recycling service — though it’s not open to the public — and offers free local delivery.
Joe Warner, the new store’s manager and a third-generation staff member, said he estimates they toured 100 buildings to find something that could balance needs for a showroom, a warehouse and a central location. Plus, the new store has plenty of parking and is visible from the highway.
“This facility will take some of the burden off the other facility where we hear that we’re limited because we can’t make these buys that we want to make because we don’t have anywhere to put the stuff,” he said.
Joe, who’s from Northeast, said the store’s proximity to downtown and the North Loop, as well as neighboring cities like St. Anthony and Columbia Heights, will attract new business.
“I think because of the density of those areas… yes, we are going to see a new customer that maybe wouldn’t have given us a shot before,” Joe said.
The expansion also puts them close to competitors like Costco, which recently opened a small business-focused store in Northeast, and Home Depot in the Quarry shopping center.
Joe said the competition can help the company, whose main business is replacing old appliances, by setting them apart. He said a customer has come in looking for something different after a negative big-box experience.
Nearly five decades after Joe’s grandfather, Jim Warner, bought his employer Steve Farkus’ business, Stellian (a portmanteau of Steve and his wife Lillian’s names), the company remains a family business. In addition to its second-generation leaders, Joe estimates roughly three-dozen third-generation family members, along with in-laws, are a part of the business today.
Warners’ Stellian’s Northeast appliance store, at 2605 Broadway St. NE, is open 8:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Saturday and noon–5 p.m. Sunday. A grand opening is slated for later this year.