Mowers, pet supplies, office and school supplies, greeting cards and plants are some of the things Webb Home Center plans to carry when it expands to Lumber House at the former Shopko/Alco store on North Buckeye next fall.
And it will continue to carry windows, doors, roofing, siding, hardware supplies, power tools, plumbing and, of course, lumber.
Matt and Amber Engle plan to compete head-to-head with box stores like Menards, Lowes and Home Depot, which one might visit after a 30-to-45-minute drive.
“Salina is probably our biggest competition,” Matt Engle said. “We feel very good about it.”
He said Lumber House will be implementing a price-matching strategy for item-per-item everyday prices.
“Everything so far has been positive,” Engle said. “I’ve been real excited about it and have had fun with the process of it.”
The lumber and building materials will be indoors.
“We will have a great amount of hardware and different categories of products both in the store and outside,” Engle said.
“We will do our best to work with contractors and homeowners to provide basically every need that they have,” he said.
Plans are to carry three brands of paint: True Value, Benjamin Moore and Valspar.
A new building will store the bulk lumber indoors.
“There will be enough product inside and most of the general shopping, smaller lumber, and the 10 to 15 board quantities can be bought by customers indoors.”
Where Webb Home Center catered more to contractors and building professionals, the new store will provide retail products for the general public, as well.
“Our sales in the past have been heavily skewed toward contractors, just because of the commodity-type building materials and limited in retail with the small aisles, small store and minimal products,” he said.
That will change.
True Value brand
He said the store will carry True Value products.
Waters True Value announced last week the sale of its seven stores, including those in Junction City and Salina to Gerken Rent-All, which plans to change the name to Waters Hardware, dropping the True Value line.
“We want to be very strong in pet supplies, which, when I talked to Shopko’s manager, that was their largest category,” he said. “They said they did extremely well here in Abilene with it.”
The Abilene store is planning hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and open Sunday afternoons.
The move could last through the year.
Engle said that since purchasing the building at the current location 11 years ago, the plan was to expand.
The building had a lot of restrictions, he said.
“It’s been on our minds,” he said. “We had taken other steps to get to a place of building a new facility, but we weren’t quite to that point.”
Contact Tim Horan at Abilene-rc.com.