Small stores in a changing landscape

An article on examines the strengths and challenges of the independent, neighborhood hardware store.

For various reasons, Northern New Jersey has been hit by three announced hardware store closings in less than three weeks. The stores are Mitchell Simon in Englewood; Ludewig's Hardware in Teaneck; and Fort Lee Hardware & Supply Co. in Fort Lee.

While the closings reflect a changing retail landscape, the article draws on the collected experience of the region's successful independents and examines the one-two punch of convenience and service as the hardware store's most effective competitive advantage.

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