Thriving around Minneapolis
Thriving around Minneapolis

How area independents survived and are growing again

Minnesota is famously known as the “land of 10,000 lakes.” It turns out the state also is the home of many thriving independent rental stores, many of whom have been in business for decades now with second-generation and, in some cases, third-generation leaders.

The state also has one of the more active American Rental Association (ARA) state associations. In addition to business-related meetings, several in the group often get together each year for an annual ice-fishing expedition as well as a summertime motorcycle ride.

In many ways, how these independents have survived through the years is a microcosm of the way many construction and general tool stores have evolved to carry more party and event equipment with revenue from that segment now accounting for a significant if not a majority of annual revenues.

Recently, Rental Management visited four independent rental stores in the Minneapolis area, finding both similarities and developments that have helped each company create unique niches in their suburban areas of service, zigging and zagging to find the right mix of equipment to meet customer needs. Each has seen business revenues begin to grow again after the recession and are optimistic
about the future.

As part of our special report on Minnesota independent rental stores, we offer profiles of the four businesses, including A-1 Minnetonka Rental in Wayzata, Minn.; A to Z Rental Center in Eden Prairie, Minn.; Crown Rental, which has locations in Burnsville and Rosemount, Minn.; and J & F Reddy Rents in Saint Louis Park, Minn.