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MATTOON -- Rural King has announced plans to move its Mattoon farm and home store into the former Sears space at the Cross County Mall, which the company purchased in late fall.

The Mattoon store is currently located at 4216 Dewitt Ave., a site that is home to Rural King's headquarters and distribution center. Rural King also has announced that it intends to expand its headquarters into the retail space at the Dewitt Avenue building after the store relocates to the mall, while retaining the distribution center there. Rural King originally had planned to move its headquarters into the former Sears space.

In a press release, Rural King reported that the company has finalized its plans for the mall and has decided to instead move its Mattoon store into the former Sears space to drive more traffic to the mall and other businesses in the area.

“Rural King believes its future success is tied to the future success of the Mattoon community. The acquisition of the mall was a strategic commitment to this community, and we plan to continue to invest here in this area that has given us so much," said Rural King Chief Executive Officer Alex Melvin in a press release.

Rural King reported that it anticipates construction work at the former Sears space will begin in August and that the company will be targeting the Mattoon store to move there in January. The company reported that the new store will still provide customers with everything Rural King is known for, including free and popcorn, RK Tractors, livestock and pet supplies, tools, and more.

Mattoon's current Rural King store is slated to remain open at 4216 Dewitt until it moves to the mall. The current store hosts a recently opened pet grooming salon, Country Critters.

The company reported that its real estate division, Rural King Realty, has been working diligently to revitalize the mall. A 11 for $10 discount store recently opened in the former Hallmark space and a Heavenly Scents, Crafts & More store opened earlier this year near the mall's central entrance. Rural King announced last month that a Scotty’s Brewhouse craft-beer restaurant will open at the mall later this year.

According to the press release, Rural King is in conversation with several other future tenants that the company hopes can keep the mall a community destination.

Rural King was founded in 1960 in Mattoon and operated in several locations over the years on the west side of town. In 1999, the company moved the store, office, and distribution center across the street to the current location at 4216 Dewitt. This facility has received several additions as the company has grown. Now, Rural King operates more than 100 stores in a 13 state area.

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