The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 3, 2013

Krohn: Fleet Farm taking its time


The “Fleet” name has a meaning that is long forgotten to most today.

There were once so-called “blue laws” across the country that regulated commerce in a variety of ways, including forcing businesses to be closed on religious days. At the time, everything was sold at retail and there was just one opportunity where a business was allowed to discount things — if it was sold to an account who had a “fleet” of five or more vehicles.

The Millses were among the first to realize they could build a discount store business aimed at farmers and small businesses that owned multiple vehicles. Those with fleet accounts were given a small orange membership card. The orange color — along with a silo motif — still adorn the Mills Fleet Farm stores. 

Tim Krohn is a Free Press staff writer. He can be contacted at 344-6383 or


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