Stock and Field, formerly known as Big R, will close all 25 of its stores, its chairman and CEO announced Monday. The agriculture retail chain has been in operation for more than 55 years.
“There have been many challenges in 2020, and Stock and Field was not immune to them,” said Matthew F. Whebbe, CEO and chairman of Stock and Field.
The windows at Streator’s store were already donned Monday with clearance sale and “everything must go” signs.
Referring to the clearance sales that will be happening at the stores, Whebbe said, “Even – and especially – in a pandemic, we believe the customer should be able to get some wins.”
Stock and Field has stores in McHenry, Streator, Morris and Rochelle, among other locations across Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
In the announcement, Whebbe said he intends to reopen some stores in the future.
McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett said officials in his city were already made aware of the Stock and Field closure and have been working with a developer that might bring changes to the site.
Specifically, Jett said new buildings could be added to the property closer to Richmond Road that could hold shopping and businesses, and the current structure hosting the outgoing store could be remodeled for another future tenant.
He said he thinks the potential redevelopment there could boost the prospects of additional improvements coming to the nearby McHenry Commons Shopping Center, an owner of which Jett criticized in a 2018 Northwest Herald opinion for neglecting the property and allowing storefronts to remain vacant too long.
“We’ve had a lot more communication with [the shopping center owner BET Investments] in recent years,” Jett said. “Since the last time we had issues, they made improvements to fixing up the site. We are working with their Realtors to get someone in there. Any type of change on that other site where Stock and Field is and adding a strip mall in the front would provide more opportunities for that entire north side of town.”
Jett and McHenry Economic Development Director Doug Martin said they were unable to identify the developer.
“We are working aggressively with BET along with the developer that is working to purchase the Stock and Field site,” Jett said.
Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.
Sam Lounsberry covers local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.