Pieratt's partnering with Big Sandy Superstore locally

Central Kentucky electronics retailer Pieratt's announced Monday that it will partner with Big Sandy Superstores, a furniture retailer founded in Ashland, to increase its buying power.

As part of the arrangement, in which no cash changed hand, Big Sandy Superstores will take over merchandising and marketing at Pieratt's locations in Lexington and Richmond. Pieratt's will continue to oversee sales, service and other operations. Both companies will remain separate, as no ownership has changed.

"We'll essentially all go to our vendors as Big Sandy," said Michael Cox, director of marketing for Pieratt's. "If we go as a unified front, we're going to get much better buying power with 21 stores than three stores."

There will be no employees cut, Cox said. "If anything, we might have to hire a few more," he added.

The deal has it roots in the Pieratt family's friendship with Big Sandy CEO Robert Van Hoose. While Pieratt's, which was founded in 1948, initially sold primarily electronics and has expanded to furniture, Big Sandy Superstore did just the opposite.

Pieratt's has a Kincaid Home Furnishings store adjoining its Mount Tabor Road store in Lexington. The wall will be knocked down between the two, so it will be one showroom, Cox said. The company will contain to sell Kincaid-branded products, but "it just makes more sense to market under one name instead of two."

For Big Sandy, the partnership will help it expand into Lexington, Van Hoose noted in a statement.

The chain has 18 stores in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

Cox said the partnership is for one year at this point to "see if it works out in our mutual interest."