Big R, which was originally launched in the western states by the Farm and Ranch store owners, consists of 12 independent owners and more than 75 stores across the United States, as of 2015. The name of the company expresses the firm's ranch identity.
The independent owners comprising the Big R group are members of Mid-States Distributing Company, located in St. Paul, Minnesota. More than 600 stores belonging to the Mid-States group are present in the United States and Canada. Big R stores first opened in 1964 in Illinois. Around 17 stores serve residents in central Illinois and northern Indiana, as of 2015.
The Illinois locations with Big R stores include Pontiac, Tilton, Danville, Gibson and Watseka. In Indiana, Big R stores serve customers in Marion, Elkhart, Michigan, Crawfordsville and Wabash. The main warehouses and headquarters of Big R are in Watseka, Illinois. Bill and Pat Crabtree established the Illinois Big R Stores, with Jerry Gibbs joining the management in 1973.
The mission of Big R is to offer customers with quality, affordable products and a positive retail experience suited for varying Midwest lifestyles. Living similar lifestyles as customers, Big R employees aim to impart their knowledge and experience related to farm animals, clothes, gardening products and housewares. Big R also contributes to communities by offering support to schools, charities, local sports teams and other organizations.