Runnings, farm and home retailer, buys vacant Wellsville Kmart

A national retailer specializing in home, farm and outdoor merchandise will open a store in the Village of Wellsville next year after buying the old Kmart building vacated four years ago.

Minnesota-based Runnings said it plans to open a store in the abandoned 94,000 square-foot space at the Riverwalk Plaza after reaching an agreement with the LC Whitford Company to buy the building.

The deal was announced Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

“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,” said Brad Whitford, president of LC Whitford Company, a contractor business based in Wellsville. “We’re very excited to finally have Runnings on board. It will be a momentous thing for Wellsville.”

Runnings plans to hire 40 workers

The building, located on 121 Bolivar Road, sits on five acres of land and has been empty since 2018 when Kmart closed its doors. Runnings has a long-standing history of purchasing vacant retail stores, including vacated Kmarts, development officials said.

According to a press release, the new store will employ approximately 40 full and part-time workers.

Craig Clark, executive director of the Allegany County Industrial Development Agency, called the store’s plans for Wellsville “a much-needed addition to Allegany County.”

“It will be the only retail (store) of any size in Allegany County,” Clarke said. “It’s a good win for everybody because you don’t like that store vacant, especially of that size.”

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