Soft store opening exceeds expectations

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May 30—Michael Pack said he expected a good response when Leonard Buildings & Truck Accessories welcomed its first customers to its soft opening at its new Beckley location on May 20.

The Leonard CEO, who returned to his native Raleigh County for the opening, said the response went above expectation as customers began filing in the day before the "OPEN" sign was turned over.

"They see activity in the parking lot," Pack explained. "We've had customers all day long so that's a great thing. We weren't going to turn people away."

Pack, a native of Glen White and a 1987 graduate of Independence High School, has served as CEO of the Mount Airy, N.C.-based Leonard since 2017.

Leonard, Pack explained, is the premier truck accessories provider in the southeastern United States and is the No. 1 provider of Leer truck covers in the country.

In addition, he said, the company manufactures and sells its own sheds and is a premium dealer of a broad variety of trailer and towing solutions.

Pack, who maintains a home in Raleigh County, which he visits twice a month, said the company had been looking for a location in Beckley for two years.

"We really saw a need in the Beckley market for what we provide," he said.

The Robert C. Byrd Drive location is Leonard's 62nd location and sixth store in West Virginia.

Leonard currently operates stores in five states, but Pack said there are plans to expand into eight states and open 20 additional stores a year over the next four years.

Pack, who previously spent 22 years with Advance Auto Parts, where he served as the division president, said he is excited to bring Leonard to his hometown.

"The county and the city have welcomed us with open arms," he said. "They've been very supportive and great to work with, including the Chamber (of Commerce). They've made it easy to do business in Beckley and Raleigh County. We're very grateful for that.

" ...We're proud to provide jobs in this community," he continued. "That's always near and dear to my heart. In the face of Covid with so many businesses struggling and closing, it's great to bring a story to Beckley of growth and success."

He said he believes many people are already familiar with Leonard products, but he encourages those who aren't to come in and look around.

"We want them to know this is still a place where they're going to come in and have an old-fashioned customer service experience with a handshake and people that sincerely appreciate your business," he said. "People that take pride in the quality of the products that they provide and certainly service after the sale.

" ...We'd like to invite the entire community to stop in and see what we're all about."

----Leonard Buildings & Truck Accessories, located at 3788 Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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