Blain’s Farm and Fleet started with humble beginnings, offering farm and automotive supplies in Janesville, Wisconsin back in 1955.
Since then, they have opened stores in four states, including Michigan’s first store in Jackson. Nicole Kilmer of Blain’s Farm and Fleet joined us on WKHM to talk about the store that Bert and Claude built. “We have over 40 stores in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and now Michigan. The Jackson store actually won the Brick Award with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce for taking the old K-Mart building and transforming it into our new Blain’s Farm and Fleet Store.”
The franchise was started by Bert and Claude Blain, and has had just 3 CEOs since it was founded. Bert Blain was the first. After his passing in 1993, Robert Blain ran the company until his retirement in 2014, when Robert’s sister Jane Blain-Gilbertson was named as his replacement.
Blain’s has since grown from just farm equipment and supplies, as Kilmer explains, “In our Jackson store, we are super proud of our Carhartt clothing selection. We have a stellar big and tall clothing selection that by far supersedes anything you’ve seen in retail stores. We have work wear shoes, hunting gear. Our sporting goods department is incredible. Pets! We can’t forget about pets; well-behaved leashed pets are invited into our stores; and our pet selection is second to none.”
While Jackson was the first Blain’s to come to Michigan, it hasn’t been the last. Since then, Kilmer says they’ve been busy expanding the empire. “We are growing, our first store was the Jackson store in Michigan, and then Portage. We just opened last month in Traverse City, and we are opening in Holland in the fall.”
The Jackson Store is open Monday through Friday 7am to 9pm, Saturday from 7am to 8pm and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Full details about the store are available here.