One of downtown Monett's longstanding businesses, Westco, has announced plans to move to the Village Shopping Center on Kyler Road, south of Highway 60.
Westco has been located at 311 E. Broadway for 42 years. Steve Kelley, who has been manager for 36 years, said the decision to move was very difficult.
"It's been a privilege to be associated with the business owners on Broadway," Kelley said. "I will very much miss them. I think the world of every one of them. To be competitive with stores in other markets, we've found we need to make this change."
Westco will be moving into the former Fred's store on the east end of the shopping center. The new location offers an additional 6,000 square feet of showroom and will place all of the store's inventory on one level.
"It's been a constant battle in the old building, which Westco rents," Kelley said. "The third floor has never been air conditioned. Many of our customers don't want to or can't go to the upper levels and they just leave. We can't afford to miss business in times like these."
Kelley said he had been approached by the Fred's store owner previously and had resisted moving. The owner of his present location has been a good landlord, he said, and he would like to help find a new tenant to take Westco's place.
The Monett Westco store has been one of the smallest stores in the chain. The new location will enable Kelley to expand to a mid-sized store.
"We will broaden our lineup and offer more merchandise," Kelley said. "We'll offer more of everything, in dining rooms, bedrooms and appliances, and particularly in bedding."
Kelley has a staff of four and plans to maintain the same team in the new location. He hopes to be open in the new location by Labor Day.
Westco has stores in Cassville, Neosho and Lamar, with plans to reopen the store in Joplin. Other stores are in Kansas and Oklahoma. The Monett store is the farthest east of the stores.
For more information, call Kelley at 235-5422.