ROCHELLE — The Stock+Field location on Illinois Route 251 in Rochelle will remain open after R.P. Acquisition Corporation, a subsidiary of R.P. Lumber Company, announced its pending acquisition of the Stock+Field assets and plans to begin operations under new management effective April 1, 2021. The Rochelle store had been set to close its doors on March 31.
The stores will retain the Stock+Field name and the new owners will seek input from employees and the communities they serve as they plan for the future of the brand. The stores will continue operating in the farm and ranch space, providing the same goods and services. The majority of the 25 stores acquired by R.P. Lumber are expected to remain open.
“We are extremely excited for the Stock + Field store to remain in our community,” said Michelle Pease, City of Rochelle community development director. “R.P. Lumber sees the opportunity and has been great to work with. The store is almost out of inventory and being completely liquidated so it’s likely it will be down for a week or two in order to restock.”
Founded in Watseka in 1964 as Big R Stores, Stock+Field is a premier farm, home, and outdoor retail brand that has grown to include 25 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Stock+Field is a one-stop retail destination for Midwesterners to gather the mission-critical products they need to keep working, provide for their families, and pursue hobbies traditional to a rural lifestyle. In January 2021, the company filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to close all of its stores.
Based in Edwardsville, R.P. Lumber Co., Inc. is a family-owned retailer that operates 72 full-service hardware and building material stores throughout Illinois, Missouri, Wyoming and Iowa. The company was founded in 1977 by CEO Robert L. Plummer in Staunton.
The team at R.P. Acquisition Corporation recognizes that the loss of these stores would leave a difficult hole to fill in each of their local communities. With this in mind, they will endeavor to keep the customers, the employees, and their families united as a community, rooted in the heartland.
“Our focus right now is on keeping Stock+Field stores open and serving the many communities they have served for years and, in some instances, decades,” said Robert L. Plummer, chairman of R.P. Acquisition Corporation. “The Stock+Field teams at each store are personally connected to their customers and their communities, and we see tremendous value in maintaining and strengthening those bonds. Many great R.P. Lumber team members have worked and continue working hard every day to build a strong reputation in the communities where we operate. We intend to bring the same culture and community mindset to Stock+Field.”
Despite the classification as “family-owned small businesses,” retailers like Stock+Field provide many jobs and are often one of the top contributors of tax revenue in local communities, thus serving as a cornerstone for local economies.
“These stores have a decades-long tradition as part of the fabric of the community,” said Jason Plummer, president of R.P. Acquisition Corporation. “We love the farm and ranch space but, perhaps even more importantly, we saw this as an opportunity to invest in rural America, contribute to the growth of these great communities, and help keep many good, hard-working people employed.”