A business that has been around La Grande for decades has moved to a new location. Miller’s Home Center is almost finished with its move into its new home. The address is 3109 May Lane but access to the new facility is off Island Avenue. Take a turn opposite of Walton Road at the intersection near Walmart and you will see the business’ much larger store and warehouses open for business starting Tuesday.
“We have had the dream (of a bigger store) for a long time,” Steve Colkitt, CEO and president, said. “The main thing is to service customers better, service employees better and to have less waste.”
The new store will house more product than ever before, selling everything from cleaning supplies and household tools to commercial grade building materials in bulk. Jeff Patterson, one of Miller’s managers, said the hope is that the store will become a one-stop shop for everything a person may need for home repairs and larger construction projects.
“It’s about being able to offer our community more than we ever have before.” Patterson said. “We want to serve the contractors, we want to serve the homeowners, we want to serve everyone with that one-stop approach.”
Before the move to the larger space, which consolidates the company’s products and services, customers had to go to different buildings across the railroad tracks to get lumber or tools. Now all of the materials a person might need are in one location, keeping store employees ready and available to help.
“For employees and for customers, it’s better product and better service,” Colkitt said. “We have such great people here. It’s just been a dream to have (the new facility).”
With the expansion the business also now has warehouses in the back for storing lumber. Previously, wood was stored outside, which could quickly damage and ruin the wood due to weather. Now, there will be less waste by storing the lumber in a controlled environment.
The new facility features organized sections for product as well as design ideas. It has 13 kitchen vignettes showcasing different concepts for storage and looks. The store will go from having 4,000 square feet of space to 38,000 square feet, including the warehouse space. Patterson said though it is a big store for a small town like La Grande, it will be helpful to have everything a person may need in one location.
Miller’s Home Center also offers custom designs for cabinets and kitchens, and the new store features 13 displays of all of the options a person has, with dedicated and expert staff on hand to help.
“We want to create people’s thoughts,” Patterson said.
Because the new store is located at the border of La Grande and Island City, Colkitt said one of the biggest hurdles was figuring out which city would be in charge of the utilities. It was continued communication and cooperation between the store and the cities that Colkitt said helped them get over the complication.
“We’ve grown over the years, and we always reinvest back into our business,” Colkitt said.
The store honors its origins with photos of an old truck for the store and its original location. Originally opened more than a century ago by the Miller family, Miller’s Home Center has expanded beyond its roots.
A soft open will occur Tuesday, with the possibility for a grand opening in the spring. The home center will have new hours with its new location. It will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The old location will remain open for employees as a workshop and storage space.