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Posted: 6/24/2021 4:13:46 PM EDT
The "wrong" Fleet stores are coming to my area of the northwoods. Rumors have said, for about the past 2 years, that (Mills) Fleet Farm purchased land in Rhinelander to build a new store. Well the cat is now out of the bag... and rumors were close, but wrong... it's the wrong fricken Fleet store,  Blain's is coming to town. They're building an 84,000 sq ft building, set to open in fall of 2022. That's a big store. I went to one once, in Chippewa Falls, maybe 30 years ago, when my parents still had a lake cottage between New Auburn & Bruce. So long ago, that all I remember about it was I bought a nice camo jacket there and some musky lures.  

https://www.wjfw.com/storydetails/20210624132506/blains_farm_

They'll have competition too. L & M Fleet Supply of MN is coming to Rhinelander also. In fact, as they're not building from scratch but bought the empty old Shopko store in Rhinelander, they intend to open first, next spring.

https://starjournalnow.com/2021/06/16/lm-fleet-to-open-store-in-rhinelander/

Wish it was the real (Mill's) Fleet farm instead of either of these...



Link Posted: 6/24/2021 5:03:56 PM EDT
I don't know.  We went to Fleet the other day for a few things and my wife said the prices were really getting high there, plus they were out of a lot of the "staples" she picks up for us and the Grandkids - red pop, etc.  Their usually reasonably priced nuts and candy were high enough for her to say nope, not gonna do it.  Their once big ammo wall is now a small 4 shelf, 3' wide unit at the end of one of the aisles.  This was the Point store.  I think the new owners are going to price themselves out of business.  Not the go to place for stuff anymore.
Link Posted: 6/24/2021 5:23:47 PM EDT
Mills fleet Farm and Blains Farm and fleet are basically the same store.   The prices from my experience were comparable.
Link Posted: 6/24/2021 7:55:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2021 8:08:12 PM EDT by rfb45colt]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kapusta:
I don't know.  We went to Fleet the other day for a few things and my wife said the prices were really getting high there, plus they were out of a lot of the "staples" she picks up for us and the Grandkids - red pop, etc.  Their usually reasonably priced nuts and candy were high enough for her to say nope, not gonna do it.  Their once big ammo wall is now a small 4 shelf, 3' wide unit at the end of one of the aisles.  This was the Point store.  I think the new owners are going to price themselves out of business.  Not the go to place for stuff anymore.
View Quote


I know what you're saying, as I noticed it too when I was at the Antigo FF store about 2 weeks ago. All the shelves in the entire ammo section were filled up with archery targets. It's not the new owners, it's price increases from their suppliers. EVERYTHING in almost EVERY business has risen 15-20% in the last 90 days.

I noticed the exact same thing at Menards, Home Depot, and Walmart over the past month or so. My wife says the same thing when she comes from Pick & Save or Aldi's when she grocery shops. For another thing...gasoline is about $1 more per gallon than last summer also, so delivery charges have gone up 1/3 too.  

As a locksmith in a rural area, one of my biggest selling items is a standard Kwikset residential entry knoblock. I typically buy them at Menards rather than a wholesaler. Wholesalers' cost is not much different than Menards' off-the-shelf prices, and shipping from wholesalers in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, or Chicago have gotten ridiculously high. Minimum freight charge is now about $25. That lock cost me $9.90-$10 at Menards for as long as I can remember. Last week they were $11.99, a $2 jump (20%). I mark them up 40%... as if you're too lazy to go buy them there yourself, you can pay me a 40% profit to do the shopping for you. I used to pay about $10, and sell them for $14, customers pay an extra $4 for the "convenience" of me having one in my truck. Now that I pay $12 instead, I sell them for $17. I'm going to make my 40% mark up regardless, or I'm not going to bother with it. Take it or leave it. So if Fleet Farm's costs for their goods goes up 15-20%, their retail prices will go up accordingly also. I don't blame Fleet Farm, because it's happening everywhere.

Another example, my wife works at a Marina. They sell lots of boats over the winter and into early spring, for summer delivery. They got a notice from several boat manufacturers early last month, that all pre-season order prices are now increased by 15%. Any prior sales contracts for items yet undelivered are increased 15% across the board, no exceptions, take it or leave it. My wife spent a whole week just calling customers with boats on order about the price increase, and asking them if they still want their ordered boat at the new price, or want to cancel the sale. (Most of them accepted it, only a few said "no thanks"). It's not her boss's fault, and they shouldn't have to eat that 15% increase either (15% of a $30,000 pontoon, Xs 50+ boats, is serious money). Their cost goes up 15%, the consumers costs goes up accordingly. That's business.

But it's all to be expected...inflation happens every time a Democrat gets elected POTUS and Dems control the legislature too. Inflation is here to stay for the next 4 years at least.

I guess I should just be happy I won't have to drive 60 miles to FF in Antigo, or 85 to Wausau, at $3 per gallon, to buy ammo, hunting goods, fishing equipment etc. 25 miles to Rhinelander is still better,  even though it's the "wrong" stores. Nothing here now except Walmart, and their selection of hunting/fishing stuff isn't worth a shit anymore. Can't even buy handgun ammo there in the GOOD times.
Link Posted: 6/24/2021 9:05:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2021 9:08:20 PM EDT by kapusta]
Yup, I agree fully.  It just irks me when I buy something and a month later it's gone up again.  I only wish my SS and pension checks went up at the same rate.  Just used the last of my small rifle primers the other day.  I wonder if the cartel will be smuggling some of those across the border?  Now Sleepy Joe is going after those nasty bad gun dealers.  This should be interesting.
Link Posted: 6/25/2021 11:01:09 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Grizz272:
Mills fleet Farm and Blains Farm and fleet are basically the same store.   The prices from my experience were comparable.
View Quote



Before the Mills family sold the company, Fleet Farm was a better store imo. I loved their old Milsurp area(which they got rid of as soon as the company was sold) and the entire place felt like it was better run. Now, it feels less like a farm store and more of just a generic big box store that just happens to carry some stuff geared towards agriculture. Don't get me wrong, i really like it, but i think Farm and Fleet is more of a farm store than Fleet Farm. The only thing i hate about Farm and Fleet is they don't carry firearms.

Price wise, you're right. They are basically the same.
Link Posted: 6/25/2021 6:49:04 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Brotherbadger:



Before the Mills family sold the company, Fleet Farm was a better store imo. I loved their old Milsurp area(which they got rid of as soon as the company was sold) and the entire place felt like it was better run.
View Quote


The milsurp area was OK, but if you wear a size 2XL or larger, not much there for you. A bonanza for those who wear a medium or small.

One thing I noticed right away with the new owners. The selection of firearms in the Antigo store increased significantly. Pre- 2020 'panic' numbers, they had 75-100 handguns in the new, much larger display cases, since the ownership change. When it was Mills, they had only about 15-20 handguns, in one small display case. Almost like they were an afterthought.

For shotguns, Mills had 2 of those rotating displays like Walmart had. Each had about 10 shotguns inside. One was full of Mossberg 500 variants, the other was full of 870 variants. Now they have 75 - 100 slots in their shotgun racks, and you can fondle them to your heart's content, instead of oogling them through 1/4" thick plexiglass. And they have top end Browning, Beretta & Benelli guns. Pre-panic, those shotgun racks were full too, and prices are very competitive. Same with rifles. Mills had maybe 12-18, not counting a dozen Mosin Nagants. Now they have 50+ rifles. Semi-autos, levers, bolt guns. The sales floor area devoted to firearms on display went from about 200 sq ft to about 2,000 sq ft after Mills sold. It now reminds me of what Gander Mountain stores had back in 1980s-90s, but with much better prices than Gander or Cabelas.
Link Posted: 6/25/2021 7:39:24 PM EDT
Makes one wonder if they went through the trouble of rearranging the firearms display area that much that they might have some inside info that this shortage might be for a longer term than most are hoping.
Then again, it might just be that a whole wall of empty racks doesn't look appealing to the customers.
Link Posted: 6/25/2021 8:31:09 PM EDT
Bah.

Blain's is not as good as Mill's....
Link Posted: 6/25/2021 8:49:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Grizz272:
Mills fleet Farm and Blains Farm and fleet are basically the same store.   The prices from my experience were comparable.
View Quote

IME, Blains is a little more farm oriented, less "everything" that Fleet Farm has.

But yeah, their prices seem to have crept up.
Link Posted: 6/25/2021 10:53:57 PM EDT
Have a Mills close by.
Used to be my first stop when looking for stuff.
A couple years ago after they got bought out  noticed inventories started sucking.
They'd run out of something like Bar oil for chain saws, it take 2 months before they'd show up again.
Was there again Wednesday.
Needed 2 1/2 gallon jug of Glyphosate, out of stock, in fact all Gordon's Big and tuff which is what I buy was one. No 1 gallon, no 2 1/2 gallon nothing.
I also needed some PVC 1" electriacal conduit. All out, all other sizes were out except 3/4" and 1 1/2.
Also needed to get some exhaust pipe adapters, none of the size i wanted was available, out of inventory. Again it wasn't just one size I'd say it was over 1/2 the stuff was missing.

Its gotten to the point I'm going to order stuff on line, pay for shipping, wait a couple of days instead of driving about an hour round trip then having to hit 2-3 other stores to find what I'm looking for.

Right now, I'd say getting a Mill's Fleet is no big deal.

They have gone down hill big time in the last couple of years.
Link Posted: 6/27/2021 9:10:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/27/2021 10:07:11 AM EDT by rfb45colt]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kapusta:
Makes one wonder if they went through the trouble of rearranging the firearms display area that much that they might have some inside info that this shortage might be for a longer term than most are hoping.
Then again, it might just be that a whole wall of empty racks doesn't look appealing to the customers.
View Quote


The only rearranging I noticed in Antigo was in the ammo aisles. Handgun display cases now have the guns condensed into one area, and more scopes, binocs, knives, & electronics fill the empty space. What they did have in stock in ammo was condensed into one small area in one aisle, the same one with reloading stuff on one side... rather than being scattered far & wide in the other aisle that in normal times has ammo lining both sides. All those shelves in the empty ammo aisle now hold those foam block archery targets. Dozens of them, put there just to fill the otherwise empty space. It gives all the appearance of a strictly temporary, housekeeping type measure. Maybe other stores are doing it differently.
Link Posted: 6/27/2021 9:11:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/27/2021 9:17:28 AM EDT by rfb45colt]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DirtyDirk:
Have a Mills close by.
Used to be my first stop when looking for stuff.
A couple years ago after they got bought out  noticed inventories started sucking.
They'd run out of something like Bar oil for chain saws, it take 2 months before they'd show up again.
Was there again Wednesday.
Needed 2 1/2 gallon jug of Glyphosate, out of stock, in fact all Gordon's Big and tuff which is what I buy was one. No 1 gallon, no 2 1/2 gallon nothing.
I also needed some PVC 1" electriacal conduit. All out, all other sizes were out except 3/4" and 1 1/2.
Also needed to get some exhaust pipe adapters, none of the size i wanted was available, out of inventory. Again it wasn't just one size I'd say it was over 1/2 the stuff was missing.

Its gotten to the point I'm going to order stuff on line, pay for shipping, wait a couple of days instead of driving about an hour round trip then having to hit 2-3 other stores to find what I'm looking for.

Right now, I'd say getting a Mill's Fleet is no big deal.

They have gone down hill big time in the last couple of years.
View Quote


That sounds like a supply chain issue, mostly due to "election infection" restrictions on manufacturers.  I've seen the same thing at Menards, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, and even Ace Hardware. Last spring I was doing some remodeling. Installed a new light fixture in a bathroom. Needed an "old work" electrical box to mount in drywall in between wall studs. Ace was out, empty bin on the shelf. Drove down to Rhinelander to Menards...out also. Same with Home depot. Ordered one online from Home Depot. Waited 10 days for it. Sucks, but it's been a problem everywhere for the past 15 months or so.
Link Posted: 6/27/2021 11:17:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/27/2021 11:17:29 AM EDT by JVD]
The Farm and Fleets in Waukesha and Watertown give me a rural Kmart vibe, and I don't really care for them.
Fleet Farm is awesome though.
Link Posted: 6/27/2021 10:12:00 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rfb45colt:


That sounds like a supply chain issue, mostly due to "election infection" restrictions on manufacturers.  I've seen the same thing at Menards, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, and even Ace Hardware. Last spring I was doing some remodeling. Installed a new light fixture in a bathroom. Needed an "old work" electrical box to mount in drywall in between wall studs. Ace was out, empty bin on the shelf. Drove down to Rhinelander to Menards...out also. Same with Home depot. Ordered one online from Home Depot. Waited 10 days for it. Sucks, but it's been a problem everywhere for the past 15 months or so.
View Quote


I think they were having supply chain issues before it became a common problem.  I know they switched over to a new warehouse and Transportation Management provider (I don't know if they were insourced or outsourced previously, but I noticed the changes/issues shortly after they switched a couple of years ago).  Some of it might be tied to managing inventory more tightly, but if you don't have a good handle on that, it gets screwed up fast.  And you can't sell it if you don't have it.  But you can't tell the finance guys or the bankers that.  The China supply chain situation just made it worse.  I was looking for an accessory for a rifle - it was in stock a month ago, but I wanted to wait.  Took me 3 fleet farms to find it this weekend (I was going by each of them anyway, so no extra cost but my time).  Oh, I took the last one, too....
Link Posted: 6/27/2021 10:16:35 PM EDT
Have both stores here in Hallie and Eau Claire. Prices are cheaper at one plus they have more variety and things actually in stock. Plus the fricken Hallie cops are a major pain in the rear.  So we don't go to Farm and Fleet anymore. Usually end up going to Fleet Farm anyway to get what we wanted.
Link Posted: 6/27/2021 10:33:39 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Brotherbadger:



Before the Mills family sold the company, Fleet Farm was a better store imo. I loved their old Milsurp area(which they got rid of as soon as the company was sold) and the entire place felt like it was better run. Now, it feels less like a farm store and more of just a generic big box store that just happens to carry some stuff geared towards agriculture. Don't get me wrong, i really like it, but i think Farm and Fleet is more of a farm store than Fleet Farm. The only thing i hate about Farm and Fleet is they don't carry firearms.

Price wise, you're right. They are basically the same.
View Quote


I wish Murdoch's would expand here, but they're sticking to their lane in the mountain west.  Can't say I blame them, but still...
Link Posted: 6/28/2021 11:09:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rfb45colt:


That sounds like a supply chain issue, mostly due to "election infection" restrictions on manufacturers.  I've seen the same thing at Menards, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, and even Ace Hardware. Last spring I was doing some remodeling. Installed a new light fixture in a bathroom. Needed an "old work" electrical box to mount in drywall in between wall studs. Ace was out, empty bin on the shelf. Drove down to Rhinelander to Menards...out also. Same with Home depot. Ordered one online from Home Depot. Waited 10 days for it. Sucks, but it's been a problem everywhere for the past 15 months or so.
View Quote


The chains saw bar lube was before covid.

I stopped buying all my chain saw stuff at F & F cause of this, now buy at a small local family owned shop. They never run out of stuff and they actually have knowledgeable employees.
Link Posted: 6/29/2021 8:38:00 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By DirtyDirk:


The chains saw bar lube was before covid.

I stopped buying all my chain saw stuff at F & F cause of this, now buy at a small local family owned shop. They never run out of stuff and they actually have knowledgeable employees.
View Quote


I get my chainsaw stuff from my granddaughter's husband, in the Minocqua/Woodruff area (they just moved to Arbor Vitae last month). He's a chainsaw repair guy, very good at it too... they call him "The Chainsaw Surgeon".

I've got a Stihl & Echo in my pole barn that he built for me from parts, from various "junker" saws. Both run like champs, have new carbs, bars & chains. He gets most of his stuff from a wholesaler in Sayner.
Link Posted: 7/1/2021 4:47:00 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rfb45colt:


The milsurp area was OK, but if you wear a size 2XL or larger, not much there for you. A bonanza for those who wear a medium or small.

One thing I noticed right away with the new owners. The selection of firearms in the Antigo store increased significantly. Pre- 2020 'panic' numbers, they had 75-100 handguns in the new, much larger display cases, since the ownership change. When it was Mills, they had only about 15-20 handguns, in one small display case. Almost like they were an afterthought.

For shotguns, Mills had 2 of those rotating displays like Walmart had. Each had about 10 shotguns inside. One was full of Mossberg 500 variants, the other was full of 870 variants. Now they have 75 - 100 slots in their shotgun racks, and you can fondle them to your heart's content, instead of oogling them through 1/4" thick plexiglass. And they have top end Browning, Beretta & Benelli guns. Pre-panic, those shotgun racks were full too, and prices are very competitive. Same with rifles. Mills had maybe 12-18, not counting a dozen Mosin Nagants. Now they have 50+ rifles. Semi-autos, levers, bolt guns. The sales floor area devoted to firearms on display went from about 200 sq ft to about 2,000 sq ft after Mills sold. It now reminds me of what Gander Mountain stores had back in 1980s-90s, but with much better prices than Gander or Cabelas.
View Quote


I haven’t been home in a while but I’m back on leave right now. I always stop at FF in Manitowoc while I’m back. Went there yesterday to see what bore solvent I could find and was amazed at how much they’ve spread the gun section out. Not a ton of inventory right now but I know the lady that is running the gun counter and she said they have a lot of stock on order due in. Definitely a major change from the old gun department there.
Link Posted: 7/7/2021 8:55:22 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By sconnieVLP:


I haven’t been home in a while but I’m back on leave right now. I always stop at FF in Manitowoc while I’m back. Went there yesterday to see what bore solvent I could find and was amazed at how much they’ve spread the gun section out. Not a ton of inventory right now but I know the lady that is running the gun counter and she said they have a lot of stock on order due in. Definitely a major change from the old gun department there.
View Quote


The Plymouth FF expanded its gun dept recently too.
Same on the inventory.
Link Posted: 8/3/2021 8:00:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2021 8:04:14 PM EDT by rfb45colt]
Antigo FF actually had some ammo today. It was on rolling shelving units, behind the handgun counter, you had to ask the clerk behind the counter for it. Limit was 5 boxes (mixed) per customer. I grabbed 2 boxes (50 in each) of Federal 9mm 147gr FMJ FP, at $19.95 per box. They had some Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ and some Winchester HP self-defense loads in 25 round boxes. My Kahr CM9 and my Ruger Security 9C both like the heavier ammo... shoot to point of aim exactly.

They also had .38sp, .380, .40 SW, .44 Mag handgun ammo. No .45, neither ACP nor .45 Colt, no 10mm, no .357. They had some rifle ammo too on another cart, and they had plenty of Wolf 7.62X39 out on the self-serve shelf, iirc, it was $8 per box. Wolf "Military" 7.62x39 was a buck more, at $9. Also had some 7.62x51.

Shotgun shells, even hunting loads, were few. There was some WW AA 12s behind the gun counter on the rolling shelves. Out in the aisle on the display shelves, it was mostly 12ga, 3-1/2" waterfowl loads, and some 20ga waterfowl loads. What 3" duck loads they had was high priced stuff like Hevi-Shot & Bismuth, in 3" BB shot mostly. I hope any of you duck hunters are well stocked with steel from last year, like I am. My hunting partner is not an ammo hoarder like I am... he has less than half box of shells leftover from last season. He's starting to panic a little, season begins in less than a month with early goose/teal on 9/1 (I got him covered, but said I didn't have any extra shells...but I'm letting him sweat a little ).

eta: still no primers, reloading shelves were all but empty. Very little brass, not much for bullets. I was tempted on the 250 round box of cast lead 405gr .458" RNFP for .45-70 for $69.99, but I've got a new/unused mould for that exact bullet, just no time to use it.
Link Posted: 8/3/2021 9:57:02 PM EDT
Stopped at the FF in Delavan this past weekend. They had a Ruger PC Charger in the case next to a CZ Scorpion. Old guy working there came over and asked if I needed help. 1st time I seen a PC Charger in the wild. Then I said that would make a great donor to make a sbr. Old fucker went full on idiot trying to tell me thats illegal and you cant do that because the ATF says so. I should had just laughed at him but no, I told him not if you do a form 1 on it. He kept saying you cant make a pistol into a rifle. Just shook my head and walked away and said loudly "what an idiot".
Link Posted: 8/4/2021 8:53:28 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rob940:
Stopped at the FF in Delavan this past weekend. They had a Ruger PC Charger in the case next to a CZ Scorpion.
View Quote


Those same guns were in the handgun display counter in Antigo too.

There were quite a few more guns yesterday than the last time I was there in early June. More rifles, more handguns, more shotguns. Display racks are now close to 75% full, last few times I've been there they were less than half full.
Link Posted: 8/4/2021 8:39:39 PM EDT
I didn't know Fleet Farm was bought out. Didn't they have an industry forum here for a while and were making AR-15s? It had a logo of a mermaid on it or something.
Link Posted: 8/4/2021 10:55:39 PM EDT
They were selling some kind of piston rig.  I think it was named Huldra.
Link Posted: 8/5/2021 9:46:03 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kapusta:
They were selling some kind of piston rig.  I think it was named Huldra.
View Quote


It was the Huldra. It was made by Adams Arms - https://adamsarms.net/. Huldra was the brain-child of Stuart Mills, of the Mills family that owned FF. He's a gun nut of the first order.
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