Kailyn Erickson, Carter Hellevik and Travis Redican shared their thoughts on how the closing of West Concordís Hardware Hank has affected them. Photo by Nan Babcock
By Nan Babcock
When West Concord's Hardware Hank closed its doors July 16, it affected people of all ages, not only the adult men who we traditionally think of as hardware store customers.
Kailyn Erickson, Carter Hellevik and Travis Redican discussed the closing this week at a children's library program. "I wish it would open again, because I like getting stuff there," Kailyn said.
"I'd get stuff in there," Travis noted ̶ things like water guns, candy and ice cream.
Carter mentioned that he has a mounted fish and a picture from his grandma he wants to hang on the wall. His dad needs hooks, Carter said, but keeps forgetting to pick them up, and if the hardware store was open, he could just go in and buy some.
Adults have similar reactions.
Heather Frederick and Linda Lulf said their husbands are affected by the closing. "And I did go in there for groceries at times," Linda added. "We've lost so much in our town."
Colleen Snaza, owner of Colleen's Salon, did a lot of her shopping at Hardware Hank. "I miss it!" she said. She purchased everything from coffee to furnace filters to flowers there. "The people who ran it were so nice, I loved it," she said.
Lori Ellingson, manager of the Municipal Liquor Store, missed it, too. "We used to get some supplies down there," she said. "We like to support the local businesses." She recalled a recent incident when both of the light bulbs in the ladies' rest room burned out, and there was no place in town to get light bulbs.
Probably more than one local resident is having regrets about not doing more local shopping. They admit using the hardware store "for smaller stuff," but for bigger items they may go to larger towns' big box stores "because they are cheaper." Many of us are guilty of that, and the store can't survive that way.
Dennis Englehart, who had been managing the store, declined to comment on the situation.
The hardware store is owned by five local residents, Ray Six, Dave Hutton, Doug Klevos, Elden Ellingson and Roger Ellingson. Doug stated that the group is not saying a lot about the situation right now. They are actively working to find a buyer, and will pursue that avenue for a reasonable amount of time, but if they are not able to sell it, they will have to liquidate the business.