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Exclusive: Wellsville Kmart sold, major retailer coming (video and photos)

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Wellsville to become the 58th location of the Minnesota based “Home, Farm, and Outdoor Store”

By Andrew Harris and John Anderson

After months of speculation, whispers, and finger crossing, the Wellsville Sun has the pleasure to announce that Runnings will soon be the owner of the Riverwalk Plaza property that was formerly a Kmart store.

Based on the company website and social media, consider a Runnings store a hybrid of Tractor Supply and Dick’s Sporting Goods and Target. They sell guns and rifles, power tools, hunting and fishing equipment, animal feeds and healthcare.

Runnings told the Wellsville Sun, “An agreement has been reached with Riverwalk, Inc. affiliated with The L.C Whitford Company, to purchase a former Kmart building in Wellsville, New York. The Minnesota based general merchandise retailer will renovate the vacant 94,000 square foot building into a new retail store as part of the revitalization of the Riverwalk Plaza (located on 121 Bolivar Road, sits on five acres of land, and has been empty since 2018 when Kmart closed its doors).”

Brad Whitford, President of L.C Whitford Company, told the Wellsville Sun they wanted a good partner for the plaza, which has Tops supermarket and several other retails stores.

“As we looked at our plans for the plaza, we felt that an important piece of the expansion was finding a strong retail partner for the building.” Whitford said “We’re very excited to finally have Runnings on board. It will be a momentous thing for Wellsville.”

Runnings stores are about as perfectly matched to the demographic as possible, and it appears Wellsville has struck gold.

In this video, John Anderson talks about the new story from the parking lot of the old Kmart.

Sporting goods are a focus which should be a big attraction for Allegany, Steuben and Cattaraugus counties in New York and Potter County in Pennsylvania.

Runnings has a massive tool inventory and a pet department with everything from horse tack to cat food.

The new retail presence will mean plenty of traffic at the Route 417 west intersection and Wellsville in general.

Two years ago when a store opened in Minnesota, Todd Voss of Fillmore commented on the Runnings Facebook page “Open one in Wellsville, NY at the vacant Kmart.” Runnings liked the comment.

Consider this development with the new Walgreens, Quicklee’s, and Tim Horton’s coming to the Bolivar Road and the west side of Wellsville will be busy.

Stay tuned for more details on this great news for Wellsville and Allegany County. Here is more about the Runnings company:

We will have more on Runnings from the company on the Wellsvillesun.com site and our social media pages, WellsvilleSun on Facebook and Twitter.

Here is a photo gallery from John Anderson of the current building:

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