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Prairie Peddler owner, Kelli Lohr, is excited about the new merchandise currently featured in her store and is looking to expand in other departments, especially the kids’ section. Lohr is aiming to have unique and affordable items for shoppers and is adding to the already great selection with the recent closing of Shopko.

If Shopko closing has you thinking you need to travel even further to purchase your everyday supplies, stop right there! Shelby businesses have stepped up to the plate and are working hard to fill the gaps by expanding their inventory to ensure that no one has to travel far to shop.

“We’ve been talking about this prior to Shopko’s closing at Merchant meetings,” said Merchant president, Sanna Clark. “We welcome businesses of all kinds in Shelby, if one is successful the rest of us are more successful. ‘No one carries pillows. Who is willing to do that?’ Is just one example of what business owners have been looking at while trying to fill the void.”

Clark is the owner of Fieldstone Mercantile and she is currently working on figuring out places to order wholesale, one of the bigger challenges. She shared that she will be expanding her inventory as she can, with carrying more school supplies for this fall topping the list.

Ann Clark, owner of Northtown Drug, has noticed a definite increase in customers as Shopko was in its final weeks and is preparing for even more now that it has closed. She is working to expand on what she carries and once she is moved she will have even more room to stock more items.

“We are moving to a new building, to where H-O was,” said Clark. “That gives us a parking lot, which will be great for our customers, and we can expand our inventory. I’m not sure yet what all that will include, but we have outgrown this space and once we are moved, there will be an inventory increase.”

Kevin and Elaine Mitchell, owners of Shelby Paint and Hardware, have already been offering customers more variety on products, pet food and supplies, live plants and lawn and garden supplies, just to name a few.

“We have already been upping inventories to cover,” said Kevin. “We did live plants this year due to there not being a greenhouse and it worked real well. We are looking at other departments to bring up inventory and what we can do. It’s a hit and miss situation right now, but we are trying to adjust to accommodate. Any suggestions are welcome, if you see a need let us know and we will do what we can to fill it. That’s what we’re here for.”

Taylor’s True Value is working on picking up any slack as well, already expanding their trailer hitch aisle to include more variety along with tail lights and other handy kits needed. The lawn and garden section is being added to as well as the pet supplies.

“We are also starting to do phone stuff,” said employee James Beach. “We’ve added USB cables and HDMI cables to our inventory. We’ve also expanded on our pet supply department, adding a few different brands than what we carried before, dog biscuits and cat litter. We are still filling in as the need arises.”

Shelby Floral & Gift doesn’t just offer flowers and cool little gifts, but also carries the Ashley Furniture line. Owner, Nikki Anderson, has been getting in more inventory and is happy to special order whatever it is a customer might want. She has a terrific kiosk shoppers can browse to find the perfect piece of furniture, whether it’s bar stools or beds and everything in between. She also carries a variety of adorable baby items, fun knickknacks and other home decor.

The Prairie Peddler isn’t just a great stop for coffee, but offers a great selection of children and adult gifts, kitchenware, sweet treats, one-of-a-kind bags and apparel.

“The kid section seems to get bare pretty quickly,” smiled owner Kelli Lohr. “I’m always looking for new, fun, affordable things to put there and am working on expanding the inventory. I’m really working on trying to carry what it is customers are wanting and at an affordable price.”

No matter what might be on your list, or what occasion you are shopping for, you are sure to be able to find it local. Save yourself time, gas and the headache of traveling any further and check out the great deals offered right here in Shelby.

“When people shop local and support their local businesses it benefits the whole community,” concluded Sanna Clark. “The more business you give your local merchants, the more they can give back to the community.”

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