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Rural King coming to Paducah

BY DAVID ZOELLER dzoeller@paducahsun.com

Rural King, a Mattoon, Ill.-based company that operates 70 farm and home stores in eight states, is coming to McCracken County.

The company plans to build an 86,000-square-foot store at 4711 Cairo Road, according to Susan Samuelson, vice president of human resources. Construction is scheduled to begin in April and finish sometime this fall. The store will employ around 60 people, Samuelson said.

The McCracken County store will be the company's sixth in Kentucky. Other locations include Henderson, Madisonville, Muhlenberg County, Owensboro and Shelbyville.

"We think Paducah is a great place for us to be," Samuelson said. "Our customers have been asking us to come there. We've got customers who travel a great distance to get items they can't get anywhere else. We know there is a demand for us to be in that market."

Rural King is a family owned and operated company that started in 1960. The product mix ranges from livestock feed, farm equipment and lawnmowers to clothing, housewares and toys.

Chad Chancellor, president of Paducah Economic Development, is pleased with the company's decision.

"I think it's a good fit, particularly where it's going. There's new development in that area," Chancellor said of the area off Exit 3 of Interstate 24. 

While economic development efforts usually focus on industrial prospects, retail development plays an important role, too, Chancellor said.

"We don't typically recruit retail prospects, per se, but we certainly work with them when they come to us."

Paducah Economic Development's continued success attracting industrial prospects will also lead to more retail businesses, according to Chancellor.

"We've doubled retail sales per capita, more than any other city in Kentucky," Chancellor said. "All the new payroll is money for (local) government, and it gets that money into the economy ... all that money matters to us."

Contact David Zoeller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.

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