Peavey Mart expands retail reach to Steinbach

Roll out the bird feed, beehives and horse saddle pads — there’s roughly 30,000 square feet of room waiting in Steinbach.

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Roll out the bird feed, beehives and horse saddle pads — there’s roughly 30,000 square feet of room waiting in Steinbach.

Peavey Mart, Canada’s largest farm and ranch retailer, recently announced its expansion into the southern Manitoba city.

“Steinbach presented everything that we were looking for,” said Jest Sidloski, Peavey Industries LP vice-president of marketing.

The number of farms, rural demographic, building location — all checked boxes to cement Peavey’s sixth Manitoba hub, Sidloski said. “The excitement in Steinbach is unlike (any) we’ve seen anywhere.”

An announcement post on Facebook elicited more than 200 comments.

Peavey chief executive officer Doug Anderson said he has kept a letter from Sara, a then-10-year-old from Steinbach, for five years.

“I was wondering if you guys could build or buy a building, in Stienbach (sic), that will be PM (Peavey Mart),” Sara wrote, after declaring her love for the Canadian-owned retail chain.

The drive to get fencing in Winnipeg takes an hour one-way, she added in the 2018 letter.

Roughly four years ago, Peavey Mart began discussions with Schinkel Properties. The Steinbach-based developer had bought three acres of land along Highway 52 West.

“These big projects take a lot of time to mature,” said Evan Schinkel, president of Superior Projects, Schinkel’s construction division. “It’s a large capital investment, so it has to be right for Peavey Mart.”

Construction for the 28,800-sq.-ft. building and 1,440-sq.-ft. greenhouse will cost $5 million, according to Schinkel.

This Peavey Mart location will differ from other Manitoba iterations. It will mimic the new flagship in Red Deer, Alta.

“It’s a little more modern farm ranch,” Sidloski said.

The Steinbach layout is still being developed, but clothing aisles will likely be near the door. Unlike Ontario’s locations, live chickens won’t be a daily encounter — yet.

“That’s a program we look to rollout across Canada,” Sidloski said, adding Peavey sources poultry from local hatcheries. (For now, customers order poultry online or in store and pick up at a Peavey Mart later.)

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, with a grand opening set for spring of 2024. The store should produce 18 to 25 jobs, Sidloski said.

The land previously stored Manitoba Hydro equipment.

“It’s always exciting to see… new businesses opening up,” Gwen Reimer, Steinbach Chamber of Commerce executive director, said Thursday. “When you see a large chain choosing Steinbach, it speaks to the economic growth and stability.”

The city has logged an influx of newcomers.

Its population grew 1.6 per cent between July 1 2021 and 2022, largely from international migration. Most immigrants come from Ukraine, the Philippines, India and Nigeria, Reimer said.

“It’s been busy,” she said. “It’s great to see newcomers choosing Steinbach.”

Companies such as Peavey Mart provide jobs and more retail options, which could keep residents in the city, she said.

However, the chain’s opening “will probably impact some other businesses.”

“We continue to support those businesses and are confident that they are going to find ways to adapt,” Reimer added.

Steinbach is also home to a number of smaller livestock and farm equipment suppliers. All whom the Free Press contacted were unavailable or declined to comment.

For Kelly Butts, however, the new store is welcome news.

“I think Peavey Mart will be an amazingly good fit for us,” the Steinbach resident said.

She moved from Winnipeg in 2018. Prior to that, she would bring her Jack Russell terrier shopping for dog treats at a local Peavey Mart. Rubber boots, barbecue pellets and Christmas presents might also enter the shopping cart.

“(The staff) were always genuinely kind to us,” said Butts, 43, adding she hopes to be one of Peavey Mart’s hires at the new shop.

The emphasis on farming and gardening supplies suits Steinbach, she said.

Peavey Mart has 90 locations across Canada, including two in Winnipeg and one each in Swan River, Winkler and Brandon.

The company originally headquartered in Winnipeg in 1967, though the first store opened in Dawson Creek, B.C.

Peavey Mart headquarters moved in 1974, said Sidloski. Employees can buy in as part-owner of the company through an employee ownership plan.

Gabrielle Piché

Gabrielle Piché

Gabby is a big fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.

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