LCO Country Store may find new home
By Joe Morey
The LCO Tribal Governing Board recently hired Perkins Marketing Company out of Northfield, Mn, to conduct a feasibility study on relocating the LCO Country Store from its current location to the Northeast corner of Hwy B and K, directly across from the Sevenwinds Casino.
Chuck Perkins presented his findings to members of the tribal governing board and personnel from the store last week, stating that the course of action that would produce the highest volume of sales is to build a 16,000 square foot supermarket in the location.
LCO Secretary-Treasurer Jason Weaver said the next step is to create focus groups and conduct community outreach surveys to gather information from the community.
“We need to know what our members would like to see in a new grocery store, such as a deli, meat counter, and bakery, and we need to find out other information such as why they aren’t shopping at the current store,” said Weaver.
Perkins told the group the new facility will improve operations and conditions with the focus on product quality, variety and value as well as promote their local hometown service-oriented shopping experience.
“A new facility will allow the space to expand the perishable departments, allow a better price image via a wall-of-values, offer more end displays, and increase manufacturer’s allowance items,” Perkins said. “In addition, seasonal items will be given the space to create strong summer sales, as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and other events.”
Weaver said poster boards will be made up and displayed for community members on the proposed store relocation.
“We have 32 acres on the corner across from the casino,” Weaver said. “There is also a proposed plan for a new clinic on that spot and our goal is to make the new store fit in the same footprint.”
If the plan proves feasible and it’s what the tribe wants, Weaver said the store may be open as soon as 2020 or 2021.
Perkins said the location has high traffic and explained that there is $51 spend per person in the trade area and most is spent at Marketplace Foods and Walmart, about 80%. The rest is float dollars spent at other area places, such as our store, Kwik Trip in Hayward, etc. The idea is the new store will capture more of those float dollars and be more profitable.
“It looks very opportunistic for the tribe to do this,” said Tweed Shuman, TGB member.