When you think about Northwest Indiana-grown businesses, two names come to mind: Centier Bank and Strack & Van Til. Both are longstanding, family-owned, and locally founded companies that have served The Region for generations.
Back in 1995, Centier Bank collaborated with Strack & Van Til to offer a brand-new service: comprehensive banking right inside the grocery store. In the nearly 25 years since the partnership was established, eight Centier Bank branches have opened inside Strack & Van Til grocery stores across Northwest Indiana.
“We were looking for opportunities where we could bring Centier’s banking services to grocery stores and realized how similar Strack & Van Til’s customer-focused philosophy was to ours,” said Leslie Berg, Senior Partner at Centier Bank. “They’re a locally-grown grocery store, just like Centier is a locally-grown bank. We are also both family-owned, so we saw it as a great synergy.”
A Centier branch inside Strack & Van Til is more than just an ATM. It works just like any other branch. Clients can make deposits, manage their accounts, discuss mortgage options, and more. It allows Centier clients to handle shopping and banking in one trip, with no extra stops.
“People go to the grocery store on a regular basis, so the idea was to create convenient and easily accessible banking services for our clients,” Berg said. “If a client is already in the grocery store, they don’t need to make a second trip out to a branch—Centier is right there.”
The Strack & Van Til branches also offers expanded hours. Some standalone Centier branches close at noon on Saturdays, however, a Centier branch located inside a Strack & Van Til location is open until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
“We’ve also been able to add our EZ Deposit ATMs to these locations,” said Gino Giacomin, Senior Vice President/Retail Operations at Centier Bank. “That ensures that our clients still have access to their funds and can make deposits any time during store hours.”
Some Centier Bank clients find the experience so convenient that they only bank at the Strack & Van Til branches.
“One of our objectives is to give our clients choices,” Berg said. “Being able to access banking services within a grocery store gives them that choice. It’s another convenient way for us to help our clients.”
The relationship between Centier and Strack & Van Til goes beyond simply offering space.
“We’ve tried to integrate our two businesses together so that Stracks looks at the bank as one of their departments,” Berg said. “Centier associates do activities around their promotions, help them bag groceries, hand out popcorn in the aisles, and we’re out in the stores talking to their customers. We want to be an extension of Strack & Van Til’s services.”
There is one other big trait the two companies share – a dedication to the communities they serve.
“Centier Bank is very focused on giving back to our communities, and Strack & Van Til is just the same way,” Berg said. “They’re very philanthropic and give back to so many organizations. That’s just another way we saw this relationship as a good fit.”
To learn more about Centier Bank and to find your nearest branch, visit www.centier.com.