.

What Really Happened Between Bayers and Settergren?

One Linden Hills hardware store is going out of business in Sept., while another thrives.

When a few weeks ago that he was closing his hardware store in the heart of Linden Hills, everyone knew why: he was out-competed. A little less than a year ago, Mark Settergren opened the doors on of his Armatage store, , in the former Linden Hills Coop building. Facing a store twice as big as his , Bayers had an uphill battle that will end Sept. 1 when the store closes.

But what really happened in 2011, before Settergren moved in? Rumors have since swirled about buyouts gone sour and behind-the-scenes maneuvering, but the full story always remained murky. Now, Twin Cities Business Magazine has done some digging, and put the details together. 

According to the publication, Settergren's beat out several bidders to fill the former coop space, and offered a buyout that Settergren thought was generous and Bayers thought was too low.

"My family said it would not be right for me to roll over at (that) point," Bayers told the magazine. "My dad didn’t raise me that way.” 

Jeff Z August 14, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Linden Hills will turn into nothing more than a strip mall. We cannot call it historic Linden Hills any more. With Bayers Family Hardware store closing after 90 years, we only have recent businesses. The Linden Corner project just cements that. It is sad. A big part of Linden Hills will die when Bayers finally closes its doors. Within a few years the Linden Hills business district will be dead, there is nothing unique or historic in Linden Hills anymore. Nearby Excelsior and Grand (by highway 100) project has failed, and the 50th and Xerxes project has failed, Linden Hills will follow their failures. Customers have a lot of choices with retailers (50th and France, the Mega Mall, Uptown, etc.), and there is no reason for them to come to Linden Hills anymore. Condos have been dead for years. It is a sad time, some day we are going to look back and regret our short sightedness, we are going to regret the closing of Bayers Family Hardware. It is a sad time for Linden Hills, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the United States of America “Bob, Joe, Mike and all the employees of Bayer’s Do It Best Hardware “offered exceptional customer service that even Nordstrom’s could not match” Bayers Hardware exceptional customers service for 90 years. Bayers Hardware would still be going strong if not Settegren's Ace Hardware opening a store just feet from them. It’s an unfortunate situation. Bob Bayers is a good man, may god bless him, and everyone wishes him well in retirement.
Jeff Z August 14, 2012 at 01:52 PM
IMHO “Settegren's Ace Hardware in Linden Hills closing soon; will be gone in a couple of years. How is Settegren's going to compete against all the other large and small neighborhood hardware stores nearby? the nearby opening soon Menards store on 494 and Nicollet, Minneapolis Minnesota? The new Menards store will take business away from both the Settegren’s Hardware on 54th and Penn, and their store in Linden Hills. Settegren's stores a mile apart, cannibalize each other’s business. Price of Shovels Grills etc. near 40% cheaper at nearby Menards, Target, Home Depot, Wal-Mart. Menards and Home Depot have customer service, more selection, better quality. Settegren's made a very bad move coming to Linden Hills. The location is hard to get to, a lake on one side and only through residential neighborhoods on other sides. The store is 3 times larger than Bayer’s. Settegren’s will never attract enough business to be profitable. Hennepin County tax records paid $1,500,000 for the building on 2813 West 43rd Strret. That is before remodeling costs, let’s give that $500,000. So they start off with a debt of $2 million. And they have other expenses. And the taxes are $52,996.76. They may have won the bidding battle by severely overpaying, but they will lose the war... Didn’t Settegren’s Notice that the only businesses that succeed in Linden Hills are restaurants and small business, and most retail businesses fail in Linden Hills?”
James Sanna (Editor) August 14, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Well, talking to regional and local economic development folks, they say small businesses are still viable. Consumers are, generally, willing to pay extra for the convenience of a local shop and for the personal relationships and good customer service that you typically get at these places.
Jeff Z August 14, 2012 at 03:29 PM
To add a little color to the situation. Having the Linden Hills property sit open for a year with no one wanting to lease or purchase should have been a warnings sign about the value of the property Severely Outbidding Frattallone’s Ace Hardware, which owns 18 stores in the Twin Cities, should have been a warning sign. Jerry’s Do it Best Hardware, is a part of the Jerry’s organization, a successful billion dollar operation that operates many retailers. Very good at what they do, so when Settergren’s Ace Hardware massively outbid them by the Linden Hills Property, and paid $1.5 million, warning flags should have gone up. Looks like someone didn’t do their due diligence. “According to Ace, a store about the size of Settergren’s in Linden Hills—averages about $2 million in annual revenue”. Settergren’s paid way too much for the property. When one calculates the profit on those sales numbers, things look very dismal. It looks like Mark Settergren wants to take business from all the other Linden Hills stores besides Bob Bayer’s Do it Best Hardware. “He wants to re-create the atmosphere that’s worked so well for him. When he ran Settergren Hardware and Variety with his father at the other locations, they sold toys, toiletries, sewing supplies, even greeting cards. I have something for the kids, the mom, and the dad.” So he will be taking business away from: The Bibelot, Uniquely Yours, Creative Kidstuff, Oscar & Belle, Wild Rumpus, Wonderment
James Sanna (Editor) August 14, 2012 at 03:33 PM
@JeffZ - to your point about the year-long stretch where the space was empty, commercial properties often sit vacant for about a year, because of the need to assemble financing packages, negotiate leases, assess bidders, etc. etc. A year's vacancy is not that odd.
Jeff Z August 14, 2012 at 03:49 PM
@ James Sanna “Well, talking to regional and local economic development folks, they say small businesses are still viable. Consumers are, generally, willing to pay extra for the convenience of a local shop and for the personal relationships and good customer service that you typically get at these places.” I don’t know who you have been talking to, but if you look at the facts, Big Box retailers like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, and Target have been destroying small businesses for years. If one adds how internet retailers are thriving, small brick and motar business are facing even more heartache. Yes, if you are unique, places like 50th and France where small businesses can thrive, but for every example like that there are dozens who have failed. And with Bob Bayer’s family Hardware leaving, there is nothing historic or unique in Linden Hills. It is basically a strip mall. The only things unique are the restaurants. There is nothing historic or unique about Settergren's Ace Hardware except convince of location, and there are several competitors close by. Look at all the businesses that have failed in Linden Hills, Chaize store has sat empty for a year. Look at all the failed businesses and empty sites at Excelsior and Grand (by highway 100). Or the failure of the 50th and Xerxes site. Even Uptown small businesses are being replaced by major retailers. This is going on all over the country, not just in Linden Hills, Minneapolis, or Minnesota.
Jeff Z August 14, 2012 at 10:36 PM
@ brian ehlers Thanks for proving my point “The property owners who are gauging the small business owners with inflated rents that do not allow them NOT TO BE PROFITABLE ANYMORE. "downtown" Linden Hills has been a ghost town ever since the CO-OP left” I agree, the small businesses in Linden Hills are not profitable anymore, and that is not going to change. AND .“"downtown" Linden Hills has been a ghost town ever since the CO-OP left””, and after a year of business Settegren’s Hardware does not draw customers to the area. (except for the Farmers market on Sundays) Settegren’s Hardware was a bigger fish that destroyed the smaller fish Bayers Family Hardware. Now bigger fish will destroy them, Frattallone’s Hardware, Jerrys, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Menards, Target, etc.. Live by the sword, die by the sword. What goes around comes around. Karma. It is hard to feel sorry for the businesses in Linden Hills. They want competition and pure capitalism, so they must accept the results when big businesses make them unprofitable or drives them out of business. ““This is a capitalist society, so we use our dollars to vote and we go to the place that we feel benefits ourselves,” says Becky Hanson, president of the Linden Hills Business Association. “But as far as two businesses going side by side that are competitors, I don’t think that is unusual in this marketplace” http://tcbmag.com/Industries/Retail-and-Hospitality/Capitalist-Tools?page=2
Jeff Z August 14, 2012 at 10:39 PM
brian ehlers 4:38 pm on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 "why don't you all take it to the real culprit? The property owners who are gauging the small business owners with inflated rents that do not allow them to be profitable anymore. "downtown" Linden Hills has been a ghost town ever since the CO-OP left, take a closer look at why that happened and place the blame where it is rightfully deserved, on the landlords and property owners. " http://southwestminneapolis.patch.com/articles/images-released-of-new-linden-hills-development#photo-11008779
Leah August 15, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Goodbye Bayers!!
Tami S August 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM
LH, Jeff Z, Joseph Albright, brian ehlers, Steven F Brown – excellent analysis 4250 Upton project & Bayers “The design is so bland and suburban and already overdone throughout the city. It in no way fits in or matches with the existing storefronts and buildings. The loss of a restaurant and the little corner park is …a shame. ..expected more from the architects” “This building is graceless and bulky and lacking any imagination or charm…It looks like they really did not even try to make anything that would fit in. And why are there so many buildings around that look like this one that have "For Rent" signs hanging for years in the empty windows where businesses were supposed to just FLOCK to them?” “It's unfortunate … project is going to dominate the appearance of downtown Linden Hills in a major way .. a limited number of people dictate … look will be for Linden Hills”“Linden Hills will turn into nothing more than a strip mall” “And why are the existing condos around here 25-50% rental as there are no buyers if there is such a big demand? This was tiring a year ago” “We cannot call it historic Linden Hills any more” “It is a sad time, some day we are going to look back and regret our short sightedness, we are going to regret the closing of Bayers Family Hardware” “Within a few years the Linden Hills business district will be dead, there is nothing unique or historic in Linden Hills anymore” “This will all end in tears”
Tami S August 15, 2012 at 03:23 PM
New Linden Hills Development (4250 Upton project, Linden Corners) & Bayers Hardware closing = end of LH http://southwestminneapolis.patch.com/articles/images-released-of-new-linden-hills-development#photo-11008779 LH “It's unfortunate that this project is going to dominate the appearance of downtown Linden Hills in a major way and that such a limited number of people dictate and get to choose what that look will be for Linden Hills. The design is so bland and suburban and already overdone throughout the city. It in no way fits in or matches with the existing storefronts and buildings. The loss of a restaurant and the little corner park is also really a shame. I would have expected more from the architects” Steven F Brown “This building is graceless and bulky and lacking any imagination or charm. Why am I not surprised? Who comes up with this dreary stuff? It looks like they really did not even try to make anything that would fit in. Was this some cheap model they had on hand for a windy corner in Bloomington that was never built? And why are there so many buildings around that look like this one that have "For Rent" signs hanging for years in the empty windows where businesses were supposed to just FLOCK to them?And why are the existing condos around here 25-50% rental as there are no buyers if there is such a big demand? This was tiring a year ago” Jeff Z “Linden Hills will turn into nothing more than a strip mall” Joseph Albright “This will all end in tears”
Tami S August 15, 2012 at 03:28 PM
New Linden Hills Development (4250 Upton project, Linden Corners) & Bayers Hardware closing = end of LH http://southwestminneapolis.patch.com/articles/images-released-of-new-linden-hills-development#photo-11008779 LH “It's unfortunate that this project is going to dominate the appearance of downtown Linden Hills in a major way and that such a limited number of people dictate and get to choose what that look will be for Linden Hills. The design is so bland and suburban and already overdone throughout the city. It in no way fits in or matches with the existing storefronts and buildings. The loss of a restaurant and the little corner park is also really a shame I would have expected more from the architects” Steven F Brown “This building is graceless and bulky and lacking any imagination or charm. Why am I not surprised? Who comes up with this dreary stuff? It looks like they really did not even try to make anything that would fit in. Was this some cheap model they had on hand for a windy corner in Bloomington that was never built? And why are there so many buildings around that look like this one that have "For Rent" signs hanging for years in the empty windows where businesses were supposed to just FLOCK to them?And why are the existing condos around here 25-50% rental as there are no buyers if there is such a big demand? This was tiring a year ago” Jeff Z“Linden Hills will turn into nothing more than a strip mall” Joseph Albright“This will all end in tears”
Mark S August 15, 2012 at 07:33 PM
As a business person, I would say this was a bad move on Mark Settergren’s part. Based on observations, articles and rumors, he is already in trouble. Having 3 Hardware stores within a mile of each other is insane. I frequent his store on 54th and Penn, and they have been pushing people to go to the Linden Hills store. And the business at the 54th and Penn store has dropped like a rock. Talking to some people, they say the store is in big trouble, and they fear what is going to happen when the nearby new Menards store on 494 and Nicollet opens. At the same time, rumor has it the Linden Hills Settergren's Ace Hardware store is not doing well and is struggling. People now say that Mark Settergren is so concerned that he is going to hire the employees from Bayer’s Do It Best Hardware to turn around the Linden Hills Settergren's store, and Mark Settergren will concentrate on trying to save the 54th and Penn store. Bidding $1.5 million for a store and spending even more for remodeling, and outbidding 10 other bidders is troubling. Especially when 2 of the other bidders were well run Hardware store chains. Mark Settergren should not expect neighborhood support, since he feels he was morally right driving Bob Bayer’s Family Hardware store out of business. Since he feels justified using the Capitalism, Tea Party, Michele Bachmann theories, then he has to live by them. As others have said “Live by the sword, die by the sword. What goes around comes around. Karma.”
Todd August 17, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Settergren's 54th & Penn store make the neighborhood look like a dump. They have over 50 feet of merchandise sprawled out on the sidewalk and the mess just keeps getting larger. Minneapolis city ordinance prohibits having merchandise for sale on the sidewalk, yet Settergren's just keeps getting away with it making the area look like a garage sale. The merchandise and signs block the sidewalk, and interfere with the handicapped. The city really needs to crack down on this expanding mess.
Josh August 20, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I'm confused. So you seem to be flaming settergrens for 'outbidding' other LARGER hardware companies for the space. If that were not the case, wouldnt Bayers have gone out of business anyway, just by a different hardware store? Also, if a bigger store came to the local area, would that not also draw business from the Penn location? From reading these comments, it sounds like Settergrens was making a push for their own survival in the southwest mpls area by purchasing a building; even if they 'overpaid'.

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