Mazergroup has big plans for its Moosomin dealership.
Bob Mazer says the company will build a new 25,000 square foot building on a site on the North Service Road facing the Trans-Canada Highway.
“We just met this morning to finalize the size of the building,” Mazer said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “Our current property is sold to Ron Kaban from Yorkton Hyundai and Whitewood Chrysler.
“We will turn it over to him as soon as the new facility is ready. The sale of the other property was a big impetus to move ahead.”
Construction was originally scheduled to start in 2016, but as we reported at that time, Mazergroup delayed the project.
“The ag industry hasn’t been real great the last couple of years,” Bob Mazer explains. “The biggest cause is the drop in our dollar, which made the cost of the equipment go up so much that it did cause some grief in our industry. 2015 was not kind to our industry. Our combines went up $100,000 apiece, for instance. It sent shockwaves through our industry. We just wanted to be prudent with our approach to this development. Selling the property prior to starting the build helps us move forward.
“We were going to start in the spring of ‘16. Now we’re going to start in the spring of ‘17, so it’s back a year. It actually worked out very nicely because, as you know, we actually put in a massive amount of fill to build the property up. We’ve built up six acres of the 15 acres.
“That extra year gave it time to settle and it’s in really good shape to be able to start building now.”
Plans for the building are now being finalized.
“We’ll be finalizing the size of the building within the next seven days and it’s going to be in that vicinity of about 25,000 square feet, so it’s two and a half times the size of what we’re living in today.
“We will be moving the canvas shed over to the new property. It’s very easily moved.”
Construction will start within the next few months.
“We’ll be letting the contract for the building probably within the next 60 days,” said Mazer. “It may go a little quicker, but worst case scenario, we’ll have the building up and enclosed for freeze up, and we’ll complete the interior over the winter, and moving sometime over the winter before the season starts. We’d like to be in the building and prepared for the spring of 2018.”
Mazer says the company will likely increase staffing to meet an anticipated growth in business once the new building has been completed.
“Because we’ve got limited space, we really are limited to what we can do out of that facility. We will be increasing our staff as we increase our business, and we believe we will increase our business when we have facilities to do so.”
“With the 15 stores we’ve got, because we’ve got our own fleet of trucks, we’ve also started the process of moving equipment from location to location, say for scheduled serving for combines for the winter season. If we go 30 miles one way or another it doesn’t make much difference. With the facility here, it will supplement our facility in Shoal Lake, and to some extent Brandon, believe it or not. We could potentially be servicing equipment sold out of Shoal Lake and Brandon in the new facility in Moosomin.”
Mazer feels total staffing in Moosomin could be in the range of 15-17 when the new facility is fully up and running.
“It would be technicians who are added, potentially one parts person, and potentially one sales person.”
Why did Mazergroup decide to build the new store in Moosomin?
“Nobody is going to build a new implement business between Brandon and Moosomin, and nobody is going to build a new implement business between Moosomin and Regina,” he says. “Then Yorkton’s to the north. That’s a big area served from Moosomin.
“Industry numbers tell us there is the same amount of equipment sold out of Moosomin as is sold out of Brandon.
“It’s a big territory. You have to go past Grenfell to start running into the Regina dealerships, and it’s a long way up to Yorkton.
“It’s a good place to build a dealership and develop a dealership.”
Mazergroup has a long history in Manitoba. Moosomin is the group’s one Saskatchewan dealership.
“I’ve been in the business 49 years myself,” says Mazer. “I’ve been in the business a long time. My father had the Massey-Ferguson dealership in Brandon, and I started in 1968 and got the Versatile agency in 1970. We started at Hartney with our first expansion store and then went to Neepawa and Ste. Rose, and we ended up where we are the only New Holland dealers in Manitoba, and of course we have our location in Moosomin, Saskatchewan. We’re privately owned. My family owns a significant majority, but we do have a number of shareholders in the organization.”
Mazer said the expansion in Moosomin is a long term investment.
“On an individual basis, it would be very difficult for us to do what we’re doing in Moosomin. If we were a single store, it would be very difficult to built a 25,000 square foot facility. But we’re supported by all of the stores and the whole group. I think it’s a good thing for Moosomin and area. We feel that it’s a long, long term investment so we’re going to build properly and we think Moosomin is the correct place to be if you’re in the implement business.
“I don’t think there will ever be a time when the big three won’t be there. We want to present ourselves differently than we have to this point.
“It is going to be one of our anchor stores, because it’s on Number One Highway and it encompasses that big trade area.”