Is there anything cooler than a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency working out of an early 1900s downtown department store?
Rinck doesn’t think so. After 16 years in business and several years of continued growth, the Auburn full-service marketing agency recently announced plans to move into 13,000 square feet of the former W.T Grant Co. department store in downtown Lewiston. The city was the second location in the Grant department store chain, which grew to more than 1,100 stores in 40 states by the mid-1900s, according to the W.T. Grant Foundation. The move is expected to happen by January of 2017.
Rinck has always made its home in downtown Lewiston-Auburn, where its 35 full-time employees and 20 part-time event staff provide advertising, marketing and public relations services to clients in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas and England. Client industries range from consumer packaged goods and health and beauty products to higher education and financial services, transportation, healthcare and non-profits. The agency opened an office in Annapolis, Maryland, in January and has hired 21 employees in the past two years.
“Sixteen years ago, we opened with a couple of ideas about what we wanted to become,” said CEO Peter Rinck. “We wanted to be innovative, transparent, integrated, and accountable. We were determined to offer a broad range of services where we counted what worked, how it worked and the Return on Investment for our clients. Talented professionals came to us and clients have stayed with us. This new space allows us to work in new and innovative ways to serve our clients’ business needs and meet the goals we have for the next 10 years.”
The new Rinck headquarters will have a full creative suite, a commercial test kitchen for use with food and beverage clients, a sound room for audio recording, and a second floor meeting space made to look like a shipping container. In addition, the new space will accommodate a fully-staffed Content Studio.
The first floor reception area will have stadium seating facing a small stage for Rinck presentations or entertainment during Art Walk Lewiston-Auburn events. The original department store wooden stairs from the first floor to the basement will be refurbished, along with the original wood flooring on the second floor. The department store was built around 1930 by Dan Wellehan, father of Lamey-Wellehan shoe store chain President Jim Wellehan. The building is owned by 113 Lisbon Street, LLC. Rinck has agreed to a long-term lease with Jim Wellehan.
“I have loved downtown Lewiston all my life, and it is very exciting to have Rinck – an exciting and growing company – step in and add its strength and personality to the great and growing mix of downtown businesses,” said Wellehan. “My Dad would be delighted, and so would Willy Grant.”
Rinck’s partners in the construction and design of the new space include Foreside Architects of Falmouth, Hebert Construction of Lewiston and Creative Office Pavilion of Portland.