Rural King opens new store

Mike Peters, left, gun barn manager at Rural King, tells Billy Lucas, of Front Royal, about a type of ammunition Monday during the store's soft opening. Nathan Budryk/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Farm and homegoods superstore Rural King opened its doors Monday, holding a soft open that will be followed by a grand opening and ribbon-cutting later in the month.

Shaun Amrine, manager of the Rural King, said the opening went well and that interest in the Illinois-based retailer was high.

“It’s what we expected – huge turnout,” Amrine said. “A lot of folks have been stopping by and saying hey and all that good stuff. It’s going great.”

The location, at 465 South St. in the Royal Plaza Shopping Center, is in a former Kmart building and boasts more than 80,000 square feet of farming and outdoor gear, including firearms.

Amrine said that Rural King is a good fit for Front Royal and that he’s excited to develop a winning formula for the location.

“We try to maximize what the market plays on. Is this an agricultural market; is it a cattle and horse area or is it a corn and soybean (area)? You do try to cater towards who that client is going to be. When you look at the home store, it’s going to be pretty typical from area to area.”

Rural King sells everything from kayaks and canoes to hardware equipment to rabbits and animal feed, Amrine said. The Front Royal location marks the company’s foray into Virginia, with more planned locations on the way.

“We already have at least one (more Virginia) store (coming) for sure in the spring,” Amrine said. “We’re committed at this point to having a presence in the market.”

He also said that while farmers and landowners constitute some of their business, the everyday homeowner is the company’s bread and butter.

“Your large farms and folks in agriculture, they’re absolutely a cornerstone of (our business),” he said. “But it’s just as much as folks in housing communities and suburban neighborhoods that are coming in to get glyphosate to pull their weeds the same as a farmer would out in their field.”

Amrine said that many of those who visited for the soft open were getting a grasp on what exactly Rural King is.

“They’re feeling us out,” he said. “Folks are kind of getting an idea of what we’re all about,  which is pretty typical. It is what we expected.”

He said that he’s glad the store’s opening has come and that the public can finally see what all the buzz is about.

“There have been a lot of anxious folks waiting for us to open up,” he said. “When you have a couple hundred cars sitting out there, naturally they’re just going to progress in. … We’re here and we’re here to serve. This (soft open) is a way to kind of work out the kinks. Now we know what questions to ask. … It’s going to evolve.”

Amrine explained other grand opening events the store has planned for the near future.

The grand opening will be Sept. 22 and continue through Sept. 25.

“We run it as a weekend,” Amrine said. “We’ll have some drawings and whatnot.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com