Houston Store Sold to Iowa Retail Chain

In Announcements by Randon Brown

Bomgaars, the Sioux City, Iowa-based retail chain, announced Tuesday a deal to acquire 73 Orscheln Farm and Home store locations, including one in Houston, making Bomgaars the second-largest farm and ranch retailer in the U.S., after Tractor Supply Co.

Orscheln opened its doors in Houston in spring 2004 after Walmart built a supercenter on South Sam Houston Blvd. It occupied the empty 30,000 square foot space.

The “mega-deal,” as Bomgaars described it, will bring Bomgaars into seven new states — Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio — for a total of 15 states. Not counting the Orscheln locations, Bomgaars is operating in eight states, including some where both it and the Orscheln chain operate.

The deal will give the rapidly growing Bomgaars chain a total of 180 locations throughout its expanded 15-state trade region.

The acquisition is far larger than Bomgaars’ acquisition of a dozen former ALCO-Duckwall stores more than seven years ago as the latter was winding down its operations. Bomgaars hit a milestone 100th store opening last year.

ABOUT THE DEAL

The purchase is a somewhat complex one, as Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co. had been seeking to acquire Orscheln for more than a year. The Federal Trade Commission only agreed to allow the sale on condition that 73 of the Orscheln stores — including the one in Houston — be sold to Bomgaars, to avoid running afoul of anti-trust laws. Another dozen Orscheln stores are being acquired by Buchheit, a farm retailer operating in Missouri and Illinois, leaving Tractor Supply Co. acquiring 81 Orscheln locations.

Tractor Supply Co. paid roughly $297 million cash for its share of the Orscheln chain, according to a press release on the retailer’s website. Bomgaars, which unlike Tractor Supply Co. is privately held, has not disclosed the price it paid for its share of Orscheln.

“Today, we are pleased to announce that after a year and a half of very complex, multi-party negotiations, Bomgaars will acquire 73 stores in seven states, and experience an unprecedented level of growth for our customers, our community, and our company,” Bomgaars CEO Torrey Wingert said in a statement.

“While the federal approval process was at times equally exhausting and frustrating, our team and the Bomgaars family remained steadfast in their determination to complete this acquisition, and this collective commitment to do so was a big part in ensuring this deal was successfully concluded,” added Wingert.

Bomgaars will be adding 1,400 employees to its payroll through this acquisition, according to a press release. Bomgaars will also acquire Orscheln’s 330,000-square-foot distribution center in Moberly, Missouri, in either October or November of 2023.

The Bomgaars chain, which traces its roots back to William H. “Bill” Bomgaars, a Northwest Iowa merchant who struggled to find success in various retail ventures in the opening decades of the 20th century before hitting upon a winning formula of selling farm supplies, has experienced explosive growth in the 21st century. The retailer today has significantly more than five times the number of locations it had in 2004, if the Orscheln locations are counted.

Orscheln Farm and Home, based in Moberly, was founded in 1960 by W.C. “Colonel” Orscheln, who opened his first store in Sedalia. The Orscheln chain grew more quickly than Bomgaars, reaching 85 locations by 2003.

View original article at the Houston Herald.