Rural King opened in Morganton’s 89,000-sq-ft big box, which had remained vacant since Wal-Mart moved across town in 2013. The big box was purchased gutted; Rural King subsequently remodeled, repaired, and installed all new fixtures. Rural King operates 93 stores in 11 states now, this one being its first in North Carolina. Founded in Mattoon, Illinois, the retailer has been in business for 57 years. The outdoor and farm supply retailer is described as a combination of Tractor Supply, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Wal-Mart. Offerings include hardware store items like feed and seed, paint, tools, outdoor furniture, and pet supplies. Rural King is a certified Stihl dealer, and its stores feature special plumbing and garden centers. Shoppers will also find clothing with an outdoor angle, like Carhartt workwear and Justin boots, the store additionally boasting an inventory of over 500 firearms, including long guns and handguns. The store intends to feature locally-made merchandise both through regularly available product lines and standalone events.