This is an excerpt of a news article from The Record Searchlight’s Redding.com website on July 22, 2010 by David Benda.
“With business so dependent on the housing market, it’s been a difficult few years for full-service movers. “With the economy the way it is, people are not buying homes — they are not moving,” said Robert Wilson, who co-owns Hemsted’s Moving and Storage in Anderson. But Wilson isn’t letting the tough economy stall his plans for growth. Hemsted’s is in escrow to buy a 25,200-square-foot building at East Lake Boulevard in Redding where it will move its headquarters.
Wilson’s plans were approved by the city of Redding Board of Administrative Review earlier this month. He hopes to be in his new building by the fall. “I want to centralize my location. There is more opportunity there and it is easier for people to find, due to the location being right next to WaterWorks Park,” said Wilson, who started driving for Hemsted’s in the mid-1970s before buying the business.
The move will coincide with Wilson’s plan to turn his business into a one-stop shopping place for would-be customers, a strategy he thinks will make Hemsted’s more competitive and ultimately help his business. Wilson will tell customers how much it will cost to do the move themselves, the cost to hire his people to help with a portion of the move, or hire Hemsted’s for a full-service move. Eventually, Wilson wants to locate a Penske franchise at his East Lake Boulevard location, so do-it-yourselfers can rent moving trucks from Hemsted’s. In 2004 and 2005, when the housing market was booming, Hemsted’s Moving and Storage had 30 drivers on the road at any one time. “We were the No. 1 rated hauling agency for North American Van Lines. We are down to eight drivers,” Wilson said.
“To be honest, I think it’s going to take another couple of years,” Wilson said of an overall turnaround for Shasta County. “We have some signs of pickup in the southland (Southern California).” In the meantime, Wilson will invest more than $150,000 in the property on East Lake Boulevard by repaving the parking lot, painting the building’s trim, and re-landscaping the property. Wilson declined to say how much he is paying for the building, a portion of which is occupied by T-Shirts Unlimited.”