New Bomgaars site open for business
The sheer size of the new Bomgaars Supply Inc. facility located on the west side of Columbus was one of the first aspects of the store people entering its premises noticed during Thursday’s grand opening.
Retired Columbus drafter and farmer Ray Kolm, accompanied by his wife, Sheryl, perused about the store mid-morning, eyeing different displays before making a pit stop by a rack of Dickies jeans.
“It’s about the only store that I really shop in for my outdoor clothes,” Ray said. “Usually, stuff would about fall on me (in the clothing department) because it was so small.”
Confinement issues are no longer an issue now that all of the inventory from the old 3920 23rd St. location has been transported into the new, 55,000-square-feet of refurbished space that housed Walmart before its 2005 relocation. The store, 3620 23rd St., is now one of the largest Bomgaars in Nebraska, store manager Dan Woulfe said, noting that his staff has increased by 10 people to about 45 members.
In the past three weeks, approximately 100 Bomgaars employees from around the country have called Columbus their home as they transported inventory from the old store to the new location. As of Thursday, Woulfe said that the final touches were still being sorted out, but that the store was fully ready to rock and roll in regards to serving its clients.
Shoppers, he said, will surely notice some big-time differences in terms of what is available at their fingertips.
“Both variety and options,” Woulfe said of overall store upgrades. “Our two biggest growth areas are going to be in clothing and then our seasonal department, which includes sporting goods. Over at the other store, we didn’t really have anything other than ammunition, and now we have a whole sporting goods department with fishing poles and hunting equipment.”
With the new floor space comes a variety of items shoppers may not be used to seeing in a retail store. Like the assortment of mini quads and go-karts, along with a $400 blowup hot tub.
While making his way through the checkout line, Stromsburg resident Jay Mentink noted how impressed he was with the new layout. Mentink, who was in town selling cattle at the Columbus Sales Pavilion, said he was a frequent shopper at the old location. However, the new one is certainly enhanced, he added.
“Just a big improvement,” he said. “A lot more room, a lot more stuff, just a lot,” he added, with a laugh.
After weeks of controlled chaos, Woulfe said that it’s a great feeling settling in at the new site. He and his expanded staff are ready to get back to business as normal.
“It feels fantastic, it’s almost like the anticipation of Christmas,” the store manager said. “But now it’s over, and we can get back into our routine and start taking care of our customers.”
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.