Peavey Mart, a unique, one-of-a-kind all-Canadian retailer, continues to extend its presence across the country through the alignment of its banner brands
By Sean Tarry
Peavey Mart is a company that knows a thing or two about creativity and hard work. After all, they’re the qualities that helped lay the foundation that the company was built on more than 50 years ago. They’re also the qualities that have shaped the business and the brand since its founding. It’s a company that possesses an intimate understanding and appreciation for the needs and priorities of those living in and around rural communities, providing them with a range of products and services that cater to their down-to-earth lifestyles, including agriculture, farm and ranch, pet, workwear, lawn and garden, hardware and homesteading supplies. And today, as Canada’s largest farm and ranch retailer, it continues to add to its already incredible half-century of history.
It is a brand alignment strategy that’s been developed in order to help support Peavey Mart’s introduction and advancement into new markets, and is described by Doug Anderson, President & CEO, as “important toward ensuring the future growth and success of the company”. In 2016, Peavey Mart purchased controlling interest in competitive TSC Stores – before completing the acquisition at the end of 2017. The bold and somewhat risky venture has allowed the company to increase its store count by more than double, combining its 34 Peavey Mart locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan with 51 TSC Stores located in Manitoba and Ontario, extending its reach within the country to five provinces.
“The Peavey Mart customer is unique,” Anderson explains. “They often have needs that differ from those of others, living a rural lifestyle from that of a traditional rancher to an urban farmer and everything in between.”
A long and proud history
Peavey Mart’s recent expansion is really just a continuation of the retailer’s vision and dedication to positively influence and improve the lives of rural Canadians that began with its first location in Dawson Creek, British Columbia in 1967, operating under the name National Farmway Stores. Within the first couple years of operation, it had rolled out nearly 20 stores, quickly becoming an essential commodity within the rural markets it served.
In 1974, National Grain’s parent company, Minneapolis-based Peavey Company, sold the operation, but decided to retain the National Farmway Store network of locations, renaming them Peavey Mart stores under Peavey Industries Limited – a new subsidiary of Peavey Company. And then, just eight years following the retailers rebrand, Peavey Company was purchased by ConAgra USA. Only this time, upon reviewing the performance of the Canadian division of the company, ConAgra decided to disband the Peavey Mart chain of stores.
Rather than give up on the Peavey Mart brand and turn their backs on their valued rural customers, Terry Jellicoe, Norm Nilsson, Bob Reierson and Doug Anderson’s father, Rick bought the company back in 1984. It would also serve as a turning point in Peavey Mart’s history, returning the company and its operations back to its roots, establishing it once again as a wholly owned Canadian company.
Recognized by most at the time as a rather sizeable risk, they forged ahead, never looking back, and continued to grow the business, developing Peavey Mart into the prominent retailer and brand it is today. It’s a philosophy that, according to Anderson, continues to inspire and drive the company forward at a time of further growth and expansion.
“We’re incredibly proud of our company’s history,” he says. “And we’re equally proud to be 100% Canadian. Our brand is very much a part of who we are, our identity. And I think, to a large extent, our recent expansion, as well as the brand alignment that we’re currently undergoing, is a reflection of that pride and our dedication to the Canadian rural consumer.”
Aligning the brand
The brand alignment began back in 2016 when all TSC Stores in Manitoba were converted into Peavey Mart locations immediately following the acquisition. And plans to complete the transition were recently announced, with the conversion of all existing TSC Stores in Ontario into Peavey Mart stores now underway.
“It was a huge undertaking,” he laughs, “with a lot of moving parts. We had two different banners, two different stores. We put in a lot of work to make sure that our programs, departments, services, and operating systems were integrated properly, as well as to ensure ongoing product and pricing alignment between all of our locations. After we executed on all of these things and felt comfortable with the integration of the two businesses we moved ahead with rolling out the Peavey Mart name throughout Ontario, allowing us to achieve a company of one – a truly singular national Peavey Mart brand.”
The company will also be launching a new and robust online and eCommerce platform at peaveymart.com, as well as newly aligned flyers and other promotional and communications materials. The entire project is set to be completed by Spring 2021.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing the Peavey mart brand continue to grow and expand,” he says confidently
Developing a national presence
The company also operates its Main Street Hardware stores in three Alberta locations, which it rolled out in 2012. The Main Street Hardware stores are more intimately sized at around 8,000-12,000 square feet and allow the company to move into additional markets where opportunities to serve a local community.
The company also announced in March its acquisition of Ace Canada from Rona and its 107 stores under the Ace Hardware, Ace Country & Garden and Ace Building Centre banners located in the 5 provinces Peavey Mart operates, in addition to locations in Northwest Territories, Quebec and New Brunswick. The Ace stores will all continue to operate under their existing banners with Peavey Industries LP private label products, available at the stores. It’s an addition to the Peavey Mart team that Anderson describes as a “natural extension” to the brand and . allows us to continue growing our network and the ways in which we can continue to improve the lives of rural Canadians right across the country.”
“We feel honoured to be in the position that we’re in,” he says proudly. “We’ve always been focused on serving our customers in the communities they live with exceptional quality and service. And we’re always trying to repay our customers loyalty with the best offering possible.”
Powered by the people
Anderson is pleased with the ways in which Peavey Mart has evolved and grown over recent years. And he’s quick to credit much of it to the creativity, innovation and hardworking mentality that’s been engrained in the company. However, he’s just as quick to recognize the contributions of the Peavey Mart team in executing the vision of the company and helping to grow a culture of leadership and excellence. The company offers all employees the chance to buy in as a legitimate owner of Peavey Mart through a broad-based employee ownership plan. It’s an incentive and opportunity provided by the company that Anderson is extremely proud of.
“We have exceptional people, from home office to frontline in-store staff, right across the country who are dedicated to serving our customers and their unique needs in the rural communities where we operate, there’s no limit to what our company can achieve.”