The latest addition to Flowood’s burgeoning retail market comes to The Market on Lakeland when Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City opens its first Rankin County location in late September — just in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season.
Con Maloney, CEO of Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City, said that the move into Rankin County was one that had been under consideration for some time, so when a large enough space became available, the company was able to move quickly to take advantage of the 20,000-square-foot location, built originally for Jitney Jungle at the corner of Grants Ferry Road and Lakeland Drive.
“Once Con Maloney makes a decision, things move quickly,” said Ben Duckworth, president of The Duckworth Company in Jackson, leasing agent for The Market development.
Renovation is ongoing on the new store, which Maloney said would be a little different than the company’s other 12 locations scattered across Mississippi and Tennessee. The new location will boast special sections dedicated to high-end plasma, LCD and other specialty televisions, a “bargain corral” for one-of-a-kind and closeout products, a furniture area showcasing bedding and bedroom options and an updated interior décor, as well as the familiar appliance and DirecTV offerings that the stores are known for.
One particular amenity that will get its tryout in the Rankin County location is a drive-in car audio-video installation bay area, glassed in and visible from inside the store.
“So people can actually see their car being worked on while they’re shopping for other items,” said Maloney.
While the I-55 Jackson location offers drive-in audio installation, the bays are harder to get to and less inviting for customers, particularly women, Maloney said.
The furniture and bedding selection is another area Maloney is hoping does well for the new location, situated in the middle of Rankin County’s booming residential growth.
“We’ve had it in our stores, but never to the extent we will have here,” said Maloney. “We’re trying to make the shopping experience more reflective of the home environment.”
It’s not the first time the company has retooled itself to anticipate changing markets.
Cowboy Maloney’s was founded as a lumber yard that also sold built-in appliances for new homes back in 1952. The privately-owned company was already a full-line appliance dealer when the first television station was powered up in Mississippi and later added more locations with the 1991 purchase of the Southern Company’s Electric City stores. When DirecTV was first offered as an alternative to traditional cable and satellite services in the U.S., Cowboy Maloney’s made the service’s first sale ever and followed up that coup with the first U.S. sale of a Sirius satellite radio service.
The ongoing improvements to the new Cowboy Maloney’s space will soon spread throughout The Market retail center, home to 17 other retail businesses, said Duckworth. New painting, landscaping and design changes are slated to mimic the scheme of the new electronics superstore, said Duckworth. “It’s been a great shopping center for the past 15 years,” said Duckworth. “Especially now with the development that’s filling in from Lakeland Drive out to here.”
The location is further from Jackson than the rapidly-developing corner of Lakeland Drive that boasts Dogwood Festival and the soon-to-be-completed Dogwood Promenade, which will feature Kroger, Target and Steinmart as major tenants. But the location isn’t too far away for the customers that Duckworth sees available for Maloney’s products.
“Con Maloney’s store will really serve the area where the rooftops are in Flowood and the Rankin County area,” said Duckworth.
Rankin First executive director Tom Troxler agrees, noting that going to The Market saves the company from building from the ground up. “I think they were looking into an area where they could make an immediate impact,” said Troxler.
The success of the suburban move may impact more than Rankin County. Maloney noted that plans to expand into Clinton are somewhat dependent on the performance of the new location.
“If things go well, like we anticipate they will, that would be the next area we would go to,” said Maloney. “We’re going to where the customers are.”
Contact MBJ contributing writer at Julie Whitehead at firstname.lastname@example.org.