Family-Owned Business The Powershop Sees Boom in Sales as Interest in Landscaping Increases Amid Pandemic


The Powershop, located on Harrison Avenue, has been a Centralia institution for 65 years. It was purchased by Cedric and Diane Pruitt 17 years ago in 2005.

In their first five years owning the business, from 2005 to 2010, the size of the business doubled.

In the time since then, the Powershop has tripled in size. Indeed, one of their biggest complaints is that their workers are so busy helping customers at the store that it’s often difficult to keep someone available to pick up calls that are coming in. According to Rebekah Oliver, the daughter of Powershop owners Cedric and Diane Pruitt, it’s been a lot of hard work getting to where they are now but “the benefits definitely outweigh the challenges.”

Business has really picked up in the past couple of years during the pandemic. Oliver said there was a drastic increase in sales due to people spending more time at home and not spending as much money on expenditures such as travel. The broad increase in disposable income gave more people a chance to take greater care of their yards themselves. She said there’s also been an influx of people into the area, resulting in a greater number of customers. When asked about their top selling products, Oliver mentioned Cub Cadet as their biggest brand and Exmark as a premium brand that is popular with large land owners.

Oliver said that between the increased demand for outdoor equipment and the more general shortage of goods, product availability has been a major problem for The Powershop, just as it has been for many businesses amid strained supply lines. The problem has become so severe that the business has been encouraging people to pre-purchase their goods.

When asked what’s in store for The Powershop’s future after 17 years of ownership, Oliver said they’re working on a few things. They just started a Product of the Month program in February. They’re also looking to expand the professional side of the business, selling products to school districts, cities and other public works agencies. She said they’re particularly interested in getting into business with nonprofit organizations. According to Oliver, most of the manufacturers they do business with give pretty substantial discounts on their goods to nonprofits. Oliver says they hope to grow the awareness of those discount opportunities so more nonprofits will be able to take advantage of them.

A family-owned business, The Powershop was purchased by its current owners, the Pruitts, in February 2005. They moved from Edmonds and were joined two years later by their daughter, Rebekah, and her husband, Jarrod.

Despite not having any initial connections in the area, and no experience running an outdoor power equipment store, the family has successfully built a business where everyone who works there feels like they belong.

“We’re all friends … We all work hard together,” Oliver said. “Everyone gets along really well.”

According to Oliver, most employees are local residents who have worked there for over four years.

When asked about what the family had learned in running a business in an industry they previously had no experience in, she said the coolest thing they’ve discovered is in the outdoor equipment industry there’s a definite family atmosphere.

But it’s also been difficult to figure out exactly how to manage a desire to keep all of their workers while dealing with seasonal variations in business.

“It’s definitely a balancing act,” she said.

Oliver said their industry is a very seasonal one. There are two or three “crazy” months and then in other months there’s very little business being done. She says there’s a lot of trying to figure out how to balance the different seasons with the same number of employees. During the slow season, they try to keep busy enough to keep all of their employees. But, during the busy season they try to manage all of their customers without taking on seasonal workers.

About The Power Shop

Location: 3820 Harrison Ave., Centralia


Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Monday and Sunday: Closed

Owners: Cedric and Diane Pruitt

Telephone: 360-736-6340