Home Hardware is expanding its operation in its hometown of St. Jacobs, adding a new, larger store across the street from the chain’s original location on King Street.POST_HomeHardware_venture
“We moved to a new location to offer more product,” said spokesperson Jessica Kuepfer. “Our new location offers more hardware and housewares than ever before and the original location allows us to expand our furniture offerings. The original location will offer an expanded Home Furniture store as well as a museum of the history of Home Hardware.”
The brand new facility is at the corner of King and Albert Streets, where Good’s Garage once stood.
It features a large, bright open space, more in tune with modern retail design. And on the upper floors, there is an upscale 28-unit condominium, The Home Lofts St. Jacobs.
“We are excited to begin this new chapter in the Home Hardware store’s history,” said Home Hardware CEO Terry Davis of the new store, scene of an official launch Wednesday evening. “St. Jacobs Home Hardware made the move to the new location to expand the merchandise offerings to our local community. We are eager to celebrate with our staff who look forward to serving the St. Jacobs community with the same quality service and expert advice.”
Store manager Dave Gromeder has been with the company for more than three decades. He spoke at the grand opening ceremony May 13.
“What a wonderful building we’ve got here,” he said. “When we heard a couple years back that Home Hardware was entertaining the idea of moving to a new location we all got excited. To be honest, I had dreams about working at the new store; pretty boring dreams, I know. But, really, this is a dream come true.”
It’s a state-of-art facility, that will better serve the needs of their customers, he added.
The retail giant’s roots began with Gordon Hollinger’s blacksmith and hardware shop in the village.
In 1938, Walter Hachborn started working at the store as a stock boy for $8 a week. When Hollinger died in 1948, Hachborn purchased the store in partnership with Henry Sittler and Arthur Zilliax.
By 1961, business was strong, and the trio expanded into downtown St. Jacobs. But the future of the independent retailer looked precarious.
Big box stores were starting to pop up, dominating local markets across the country through economies of scale.
That led Hachborn to develop a plan to launch a dealer-owned wholesaler chain, that could keep up with the new trend.
“In 1964, 122 independent Ontario hardware retailers purchased Hollinger Hardware Limited of St. Jacobs, Ontario,” the company’s website says. “This resulted in the formation of a dealer-owned hardware cooperative, an answer to the challenge posed by big box retailers who enjoyed the advantage of direct-from-manufacturer buying power. In fact, during the decade prior to this definitive event, some 1,000 independent hardware stores across Canada had closed up shop because they could not see a viable future for themselves in the new retail landscape. Home Hardware’s owner-operators could now be confident and secure in the future of their business – with shared buying power, expanded advertising, comprehensive inventory and delivery and other resources.”
Over the 51 years since, the business boomed, growing into a $5.7 billion company with nearly 1,100 stores from coast to coast.