Bob Kiesau, Home of Economy Founder

Bob Kiesau
Home of Economy
Founder

Automotive supplies to garden supplies, bake ware to outdoor-wear, tires to toys.... if you need it, Home of Economy has it at guaranteed lowest prices! Founded in 1939 in Thief River Falls, Minnesota by Bob Kiesau and his wife, Jean, Home of Economy was originally an auto parts wholesale business. In February 1940, Bob started a store in Grand Forks, North Dakota, recapping used tires at night and selling them during the day. In the years since, Home Of Economy has grown to include stores in other North Dakota cities including Grafton, Devils Lake, Minot, Williston and Jamestown. Home of Economy is considered by many to be the first discount store. Prior to Home of Economy's discount program, free-trade laws required retailers to sell at high, fixed prices, and only fleet operators with five or more machines could receive discounts. In 1950, Bob Kiesau sent his employees to every county seat in the trade area to copy names and addresses of each taxpayer who had listed three or more tractors or combines. He assumed each farmer would have at least one car and one truck that would not be listed on the tax report. From this list, a fleet identification card was mailed to every farmer, enabling them to buy at fleet discounts. On December 3, 1987, fire destroyed the store in Grand Forks. Even as the fire burned, Management made arrangements to rent temporary headquarters and were open for business the next morning. The store was back in operation in three separate temporary locations less than a week after the fire began. On September 19, 1988 the current state-of-the-art store opened its doors. When the city of Grand Forks flooded in 1997, Home of Economy was the only store that stayed open throughout every day to help our customers. Navigating through the flooded streets using our own truck fleet and a borrowed payloader, merchandise was moved to a temporary location outside the reach of the floodwaters. Home Of Economy was the only provider of essential items for fighting the flood and for the cleanup effort while the rest of the city was closed. Now beginning our 73rd year, Home of Economy has expanded greatly beyond our early beginnings but our goal has never changed: Always provide every customer with the products and services they need at Guaranteed Lowest Prices!