We knew that the closing of the Kent Hardware store was going to leave a gap in filling small hardware needs. You could drive up to Streetsboro for the Home Depot or Brimfield to hit Lowe’s but neither is quick or convenient — and more important neither are in Kent. With so many small businesses hanging on by their shoestrings we’ve tried to become even more vocal in advocating shopping locally and supporting our small businesses that are trying to stay alive in the super-sized retail world. Of course somebody local has to sell what you’re looking for and for a while it looked like you’d be out of luck for hardware needs but I understand that a couple of opportunistic Kent-repreneurs are expanding their hardware related offerings to fill the gap.
I heard last week that Sue Nelson and Carter Lumber are both busy figuring ways to pick up the slack — and grow their own business. Sue plans to offer key cutting, glass cutting, screens, and other typical hardware store stuff that would complement her extensive decor business. Sue already serves a lot of landlord needs so it seems lik a logical next step for her business.
Likewise, Carter Lumber is a natural fit for wood related hardware stuff. I’m still waiting to hear the details on exactly what and when Carter Lumber will be offering but it’s great to see their Kent store looking to get in on the action.
Also, don’t under-estimate your local drugstore. I noticed that Walgreens had quite a surprising amount of small hardware products and I would bet the same could be said of CVS.
It was tough for a small town hardware store to go head to head with the mega-chains but maybe these other established stores can add some hardware to their product mix and give it a go. The only way to be sure is to buy their stuff so keep them in mind the next time you need some hardware.