Remodeling supply store replaces Bennett Lumber

A supply store for professional remodelers will officially open Jan. 2 in the former Bennett Lumber space at 2828 Emerson Ave. S.

Plymouth, Minn.-based building supply chain Fullerton Companies bought most of Bennett Lumber's assets last August to create a new division called The Remodeler's Choice, said the division's Vice President Bill Clemen. Bennett filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy around the same time, requiring a bankruptcy trustee to reduce everything else of value to cash for distribution to creditors.

The bankruptcy trustee for the Bennett estate could not be reached for an interview, but the 117-year-old company's financial downfall took place shortly after a failed attempt to open a second lumberyard in Burnsville, Minn.

Bennett served Uptown residents for decades as a basic hardware and building supply store. Its replacement hopes to be more successful by catering to the needs of professional remodelers, something Clemen said traditional supply stores haven't done. Clemen said Uptown's concentration of building professionals and remodeling projects makes it a great location for the venture.

&#8220We will no longer be a neighborhood hardware store,” Clemen said. &#8220All of our product line, our attitude and our service will be focused on professional remodelers.”

The shift began months ago when The Remodeler's Choice started selling what was left of Bennett's lawn and garden supplies, general repair hardware and low-grade lumber, some of which is still available. New material will begin arriving this month, Clemen said. Millwork, cabinets, high-grade lumber and environmentally friendly, or green, products are some of the items The Remodeler's Choice will carry.

Most of the new store's employees are former Bennett workers, Clemen said.

The Remodeler's Choice is a departure from Fullerton Companies' rural supply yards, which are scattered throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska. The chain has provided building materials since 1882.

For more information about The Remodeler's Choice, call 767-7000 or go to www.theremodelerschoice.com.