Smithfield Implement's sales
improve despite pinched economy
Smithfield Implement is still going strong. / Photo
by Tim Olsen
November 25, 2008 | SMITHFIELD -- For nearly a century
the Smithfield Implement Company has been serving customers.
Despite the intrusion of modern day box stores such
as Wal-Mart, Lowe's and Home Depot, "The Imp,"as it
has come to be known by locals, continues to increase
"We're working really hard to maintain our position,"
owner and operator Ralph Roylance said. "Our sales for
this year are up about 5 or 6 percent, and that's kind
of rare based on the economic situation that exists."
Born in 1926, Roylance has been a part of the business
his entire life. His father, J.M., bought the business
in 1920 and it has been in the family every since. Roylance
took the business over when his parents retired, and
his son Bart will take the reigns whenever Roylance
decides to throw in the towel.
"The future is solid with Bart here, he's 40 years
younger that I am," Roylance said.
Established in 1914, the business was originally in
a building west of Main Street, adjacent to and on the
north bank of Summit Creek. In its early years the store
saw consistent business due to the many advances in
farming at the time.The store sells a variety of farming
equipment, as well as western wear and other agricultural
After 20 years of business, it was time to move to
a larger building. In 1936, J.M. purchased the E.R.
Miles building on the corner of 100 Njorth and Main
Street, and the Imp moved to its current location.
Roylance said there were a lot of reasons for the
store's success, but was quick to point out that they
could all be traced back to hard work.
"The main reason for the success of this business
is the effort put into it," he said. "Our business comes
from a huge area, we don't depend on just Smithfield
to keep us afloat. That is because of the advertising
and the fact that you can buy something here for less
than you can someplace else. We won't be undersold by
anybody, it's a competition."
Another reason for the Implement's continued success
has been connections made throughout the years by the
Roylance family. Ralph said he and his son go to many
different buying markets each year, and the store participates
in three different buying groups.
"Buying is number one in any business, if you don't
buy right you're not going to stay in business," Roylance
said. "With the advent of all the competition we have
we wouldn't be here if we didn't have all the connections
that we have."
One other factor that Roylance believes has played
a role in the Implement's continued success is its uniqueness.
He mentioned everything from the fact that the business
buys direct to the narrow aisles of the store when naming
off its unique traits.
"We are unique, but I couldn't possibly define what
makes it that way," he said.
He was quick to point out that the comfortable feel
of the store wouldn't mean anything if people didn't
already have a prior relationship with it.
"Having narrow aisles that bring all these smiles
doesn't mean a damn thing," Roylance said. "It's the
reputation that we've built up over the years of having
the merchandise at the right price at the right time."
Known for its friendly service as well as its low
prices, the Smithfield Implement Company is a great
place to find what you're looking for … chances are
you'll find what you need.