Back since Warners’ Stellian was simply Stellian in the 1950s, our appliances were warehoused at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds all but two months of the year.
Many different buildings housed our refrigerators, washing machines, etc. through the decades we spent there. After a customer bought something, our guys would just drive the two blocks to the Fairgrounds, load the appliance into the truck bearing our name on its stakes, and deliver it – sometimes beating the customer to their own house, founder Jim Warner would brag.
We kept overhead low enough to offer great prices. In exchange, we had to completely clear our stuff out for the Minnesota State Fair and for the circus (before which Marketing Director Jeff Warner remembers hauling appliances out as the elephants walked in – probably when we were in the 4-H Building).
We also shared a building with Steichen’s grocery. Still another building we used across the street lacked a toilet, so the side of the building had to do…sorry!
Savings on a Stick
When we’d return all the inventory hauled from the building to our (then) little single store in Falcon Heights, we barely had space for it, thus creating our annual State Fair Warehouse Sale.
Finally in 1995, we built our first warehouse in the North End neighborhood of St. Paul, which we expanded a few years later and outgrew by 2004, at which time we built our current Warners’ Stellian warehouse and corporate headquarters.
For some years now, we’ve been referring to our history there and our former annual warehouse sale with our Savings On A Stick promotion during the Minnesota State Fair.
“Make sure you say they were good to us,” Jim Warner said, referring to the State Fairgrounds. He said being able to store our inventory so cheaply probably deserves much credit for keeping us around to this day.
Sounds fair to us.
Featured Image via Flickr m01229
This is an updated version of an article previously published on Aug. 23, 2011.
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What a business savvy idea storing your inventory in the state fair buildings, cheap and close to the store. I love hearing stories from “back in the day.”
Thanks! I didn’t think to ask him how he got started doing that — a huge oversight, I now realize.
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