Checker becomes a part of Austin

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 3, 2000

Monday, January 03, 2000

Leather seat covers. Snakeskin steering wheel covers. Four-foot long window scrapers in a multitude of shades. Windshield wiper fluid and spark plugs. All this and more at Austin’s new Checker Automotive store.

Checker is an auto parts and accessories store, and there’s a brand spanking new one on 18th Avenue NW.

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"It’s 7,000 square feet," said manager Troy Bush, to whom Austin is a hometown as well as a new place to work.

Bush had just started with Big Wheel Rossie up in the Twin Cities when word came along Big Wheel Rossie was being purchased by Checker. The store in Austin and one or two others nearby were already slated to go up by Checker, so Bush requested a transfer closer to home.

"This store was actually slated to go up already, and its one of the first Checker stores built from the ground up in Minnesota," Bush said.

The store is big and bright and bursting with product. Count on there being more than one of most items, and more than one style and color each time.

"We try to carry a variety of things," Bush said. "And when it comes to parts, most of the stuff we have is, if not here, than in the warehouses."

If a warehouse order needs to be made, shoppers may be assured there is a warehouse right in the Cities and if need be, staff can run directly there.

The store has been open about three weeks, and Bush describes the traffic and reaction to the store as "really good."

"A lot of people just come in and check it out, and we’re getting a lot of commercial accounts to come out and look at us," he said. He also noted that the location is kind to them.

"It’s a great location, people love it that we’re right here," Bush said. "Right here with the grocery stores and the mall – that’s convenient for a lot of people."

The store opened just in time for Christmas and Bush said the shopping was particularly brisk then. While accessories were big sales, possibly the fastest movers were the gift certificates.

For those people who didn’t get a gift certificate but received something they didn’t particularly want or need, Bush assured them that Checker has a "no-hassle" return policy.

Though the store hasn’t had its grand opening yet, things are falling into place. Bush said there are currently five employees, and if business stays this brisk, it should rise to seven or eight.