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Titan Machinery Inc.'s headquarters is seen Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at 644 Beaton Drive E., West Fargo, N.D. Michael Vosburg/Forum News Service

Titan Machinery to close 15 stores as part of dealership restructuring

WEST FARGO, N.D. — Fifteen stores in a network of agriculture and construction equipment dealers headquartered here will soon close, including several in the region.

Titan Machinery Inc. announced the upcoming closures on Thursday, Feb. 9, that will happen March 31 as part of a dealership restructuring. It includes stores in Redwood Falls and Thief River Falls in Minnesota and Arthur, Kintyre, Kulm and Mayville in North Dakota.

The company will also close two stores each in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, as well as two stores in unspecified locations where Titan already has another store in the same community. Titan also closed a construction equipment store in Williston, N.D., last December.

Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Bowman said the company has made “very aggressive” changes in recent years in reaction to lower commodity and agriculture prices, including a big reduction in its used equipment inventory.

But this newly announced restructuring isn’t another reaction to those trends, he said. Instead, it’s a way for the company to make strategic decisions about how to maximize efficiency and improve customer service in the years to come, he said.

“Where the industry has gone has been a wakeup call for all of us, and it’s really caused us to be more diligent about, ‘OK, where is this going, and what do we need to do next?’” he said.

Changing goals

Titan Machinery’s restructuring is meant to improve customer service, especially as farms and machinery become more complex, and make better use of the company’s scale and expertise, Bowman said.

“These changes to our structure reflect our commitment to meet these challenges head-on with the depth of resources and expertise required in each local area,” said CEO David Meyer in a written statement.

Proximity to other Titan stores was one key reason for some of the closures, Bowman said, such as a small store within 20 of another in-network dealer.

“We’re sort of looking at it as we’re reducing rooftops, but our footprint stays the same,” he said, adding the company will remain committed to serving the same towns and local markets with field service trucks, deliveries and more.

After the consolidation is complete, the company will have 75 stores in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as another 20 European stores in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Ukraine.

Titan’s two stores in Fargo and three in Moorhead will remain open, as will 24 other stores across Minnesota and North Dakota. As part of the restructuring, the company’s management structure will also be revamped and streamlined to become more efficient.

The plan is expected to reduce overall annual revenues by about $40 million, or less than 4 percent, while trimming expenses about $25 million and boosting adjusted pre-tax income by about $16 million per year.

Bowman said he didn't yet know how many employees will be affected or lose their jobs. Many will be offered positions at nearby locations, but some might not want a longer daily commute, and not everyone will be moved to another store.

“These major changes to our company impact people's lives and, while necessary, these decisions have been very difficult to make,” Meyer said in his written statement. “We are putting the utmost focus on being fair to our employees, providing new opportunities where possible and providing assistance throughout this transition.”

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