This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Shopping at Kirby Risk

I decided to visit Kirby Risk when I saw that they were building a new building. Their current building is on McKinley about a block south of the railroad tracks. It is nondescript, and I think it was originally built to house Valade Electric. I do not recall when it became Kirby Risk, but it was a while ago.
Kirby Risk is a chain of electrical supply stores in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. It is to electrical supply what 4-County Supply is to plumbing supply. (Sorry if you do not know what 4-County Supply is. I will eventually get to it.)
Their early hours (they open at 7:00 and close at 4:00 Monday through Friday), plus the coffee and pop corn in the store, tell you that their primary customers are contractors, not do-it-yourself customers.
The interior is very functional and utilitarian. The signs proclaim that they carry wide variety of manufacturers.

I visited the store early one morning and took some pictures while a customer was picking up supplies. I wanted to talk to the store manager about the store and the planned move, but I got tired of waiting and left. A couple days later the manager saw me and stopped his truck to ask why I was taking pictures. I explained to him that my goal was to document over the next year or so as many of the stores in Rensselaer as I can and that I was not an industrial spy. (I wonder how that pays and how one becomes an industrial supply. I know people who were at one time mystery shoppers. Is that sort of the same thing?)
I asked him why they were moving. He said that they needed more room. The present store does not have enough room to stock all the electrical supplies that they would like to stock.
Let us close by taking a look at construction progress on the new building. In mid February workers brought in sand and stone to make an entry way and prepare surfaces. The unprepared field is mud and any heavy vehicles sink several inches into it.
With the stone and sand in place, they could bring in a construction trailer and a lot more machines. They then began to work on building forms for the foundation.
Not quite two weeks after the entryway was constructed, they poured concrete.And two weeks after the picture of the truck dumping sand was taken, the forms were off the concrete foundation.

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