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2824 Manatee Avenue East

Bradenton, Florida 3420

Office: 941.792.2111

Toll Free: 1.800.522.7869

Fax: 941.747.9632

 

 

Bealls Department Store

Hometown retailer Bealls is one cool customer

 



It’s pretty cool to have your own giant retailer right in the neighborhood. Though Bealls Inc., prefers to keep a low profile, its big 18-wheelers are a constant reminder as they rumble over our local highways. Its headquarters in Bradenton is an enviable hub of commercial activity.

The family-owned company, founded in Manatee County and dating to 1915, operates 538 retail stores across the Sun Belt, from Florida to California.  It is the county’s largest private employer, with more than 1,900 workers locally, and more than 10,000 total.

What makes Bealls cool is that it’s not all huffy about itself.  For instance, you can find relatives of Bealls’ Chairman of the Board Robert M. “Bob” Beall II, shopping at their neighborhood Bealls department store.  And Bob is a devoted wearer of his company’s own merchandise: He always looks comfortable in casual knit shirts and crisp khaki pants.

Three years ago, the company spent $10 million to buy a new office building on the campus of another big local employer, Tropicana Products Inc.  The building accommodates part of the Bealls’ staff, which had outgrown offices in an industrial park on the edge of Bradenton. Of course, the company threw a big grand opening when it renamed the building “The E.R. Beall Center,” a tribute to the son of founder R.M. Beall Sr., who first opened a store here in 1915. The company served a lovely buffet including coffee, tea and baked goodies along with Tropicana juice, in honor of its neighbor, a giant producer of citrus juices.

Another cool thing about Bealls is its highest-ranking female executive, Lana Cain Krauter.  As the president of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Bealls Department Stores Inc., Krauter had worked many years in retail, with an emphasis on merchandising. She was formerly a member of the executive team at JCPenney Co. Inc.  Women have long been an important force at Bealls. For example, at a nondescript industrial office park on the edge of Bradenton, the company boasts the state’s only in-house design studio operated by a Florida department store chain.

Many of its designers are women, who create original clothing styles and items like beach towels, dinnerware, lamps, candies and jewelry that exude a Florida feel.  Some of those items are prominently displayed in a new, 68,524-square-foot prototype store that the company opened in Sun City Center.  The glistening, multi-million department store, at S.R. 674 and Interstate 75 in the Cypress Village Shopping Center, represents what the future holds for Bradenton’s first family of retailers.

Testimonials

My wife and I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Linda Johnston who is with the office at CENTURY 21 All Aces Realty. We had been trying to sell our house in Palmetto for approximately 2 years. Prior to being introduced to Linda, we had used two other real estate agents who were quite ineffective in getting people to look at the house. As soon as we spoke to Linda, we were impresses with her enthusiasm and determination. She immediately gave us ideas on how to list the house to attract prospective buyers. When one idea didn't work, she was innovative and determined to come up with new ideas. Her personality was refreshing and she was always professional. We felt as though we were her only client, although we knew she had others. It was a pleasure working with her and we would recommend her to any seller or buyer. Craig & Felicia Himes
My experience with CENTURY 21 All Aces Realty was remarkable, but my experience with my Agent, Matthew Rotondo was even better. Matt’s willingness to work with my wife and I was truly amazing. Matt took a true interest in our needs and wants as a young couple. Knowing we did not have the money to buy a home that needed lots of work, Matt made sure to find us a home that was move in ready. When it came time to close on our dream home, the house needed a new roof. Matt came through again, he was able to get us our dream home at price we could afford with a new roof. Matt is just a genuine good guy, I don’t know many agents that would actually come over and help you move and work in the yard. Thanks again Matt for helping my family get the house of their dreams. Richard and Lisa Glass
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