COOKEVILLE – One of Cookeville’s most iconic retailers has expanded in the Upper Cumberland – after seeing a void in a Warren County market just begging to be filled.
Williams Wholesale Supply, established in 1939, celebrated the grand opening of its new McMinnville location earlier this month, and response – including most recently, walk-in traffic – has thus far met expectations.
The storefront, located at 1830 Beersheba Springs Highway, fills a once-vacant space – a former Foodland grocery store that closed three years ago – but it also fills a gap following the recent closure of Don’s Supply Co., another plumbing and hardware store.
Williams Wholesale McMinnville will be primarily a plumbing and electrical outlet but will likely carry items like HVAC supplies, too.
“We’re listening to contractors, taking suggestions,” said David Uselton, McMinnville store manager. “For HVAC supplies, they have nowhere else to go in this town, they have to go to Murfreesboro or Cookeville or Tullahoma.
“Every (store here) tries to stock a little bit of something as far as plumbing and electric goes, but contractors would still have to go from place to place to try and fill an order,” Uselton, a Rock Island resident, added. “Some of the contractors down here that were already dealing with Williams Wholesale in Cookeville had been asking about putting a store here. Opening here makes us a local company; it helps keeps business in the community.”
Williams Wholesale Supply has been a Cookeville landmark for nearly 80 years – the company won an UCBJ Ovation Award in 2014 for Favorite Retail Establishment, and is largely known for its massive indoor lighting showroom. It originally opened on the square downtown and has operated via its South Jefferson Avenue location since the 1960s. In 2005, a Williams Wholesale branch opened in Nashville, and in 2009, another followed in Columbia; this is its first secondary locale in the UC.
“I think it’s going to be a profitable location. Word’s gotten out,” Uselton said. “Just being open a few weeks, business is picking up, and the walk-in trade is getting better every day.”