Mickey Hale wants to do more than just sell a person a lawnmower.
He wants to establish a longstanding relationship with customers.
“When you build that relationship that’s priceless,” he said. “It’s not about making a sale. It’s about making a relationship way beyond just the sale of a lawnmower. I feel like honesty goes a long way. I like to be honest with my customers, and I would like them to be honest with me.”
Auto Mart Automotive & Outdoor Equipment in New Albany treats customers fairly, said Mickey, adding, “We want to be the best. We try to treat people like we want to be treated.”
He said his business has a larger mower selection than big box stores. Customers will be better off if they spend their money at a local business that specializes in the products and has knowledge of the equipment, Mickey said.
“We specialize in lawnmowers,” he noted. “People would be far better off coming to a local store like us and buying as opposed to buying from a box store that really just takes their money and sends them on their way.”
He said customers can look in his showroom and see that his mower selection dwarfs what box stores offer. His business has expertise in the products and can help customers select the mower they need, he added.
The business is actually located in two buildings on West Bankhead Street because one facility is not large enough to house everything that is offered.
The riding lawnmowers are sold out of the building located at 804 W. Bankhead St., and the handheld outdoor equipment, such as weed eaters and chainsaws, are sold out of the New Albany Saw Shop located at 908 W. Bankhead.
In addition to selling outdoor equipment, the business also provides repairs and sells parts for mowers, tillers, chainsaws, weed eaters and other equipment.
“We service everything we sell plus a lot of stuff that we don’t sell,” said Mickey.
Routine maintenance such as oil changes and blade sharpening are also provided.
“Our goal is to try to keep people’s mowers running,” Mickey said. “We service tons and tons of units.”
Mickey, who used to be an engine builder, said he’s been around mechanics all his life.
“I’m mechanically inclined,” said Mickey. “We have mechanically inclined people around here.”
The business started in 1987 as an automotive parts store. It was started by Mickey and his sister, Angelique Clifton, along with their late parents, William and Shirley Hale.
“They (parents) passed away, and we’re just trying to continue the legacy that we started many years ago,” said Mickey.
They also own the Carquest Auto Parts Store on West Bankhead, said Mickey, adding, “It’s all tied together as one company. It’s been a family business all these years.”
Auto Mart Automotive & Outdoor Equipment sells riding lawnmowers for residential and commercial use. It offers Cub Cadet, SCAG and Gravely brand mowers, and financing is available.
“They’re all real good lines, and each of them has their advantage,” said Mickey.
There are zero-turn, tractor-style and push mowers available as well as tillers. A large selection of Stihl handheld equipment is also sold at the Saw Shop. Some of the handheld equipment offered includes chainsaws, weed eaters, pressure washers, blowers, hedge trimmers, pole saws and edgers.
“We carry all the Stihl product line,” Mickey said.
Not all mowers are the same, said Mickey, noting that they come with different engines, transmissions, deck sizes and warranties. At Auto Mart Automotive & Outdoor Equipment, people should be able to find the size mower they need based on how much lawn they have to cut.
Several family members work at the business with Mickey, who said, “We have a lot of good folks here. They all know their job, and they’re all good people to work with.”
Auto Mart Automotive & Outdoor Equipment has the expertise in the products to help the customers select the mower they need, Mickey said. A person with a five-acre yard does not need the same mower as a person with a half-acre yard, he noted. He said it is his job to get the customer lined up with the right product.
In addition, Auto Mart Automotive & Outdoor Equipment sells go-carts, small four-wheelers, side-by-sides and helmets.
Mickey said the business is staying busy even with everything going on with the economy right now.
“We’re blessed,” he said. “The Lord has really blessed us.”
The business is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.
It can be reached at 662-534-2258 or 662-534-3719.