Two family-owned hardware stores, an Ace and a Do it Best, are going up against each other on the same block in Minneapolis, according to a news report on KSTP-TV. Although the owners remain friendly, the competition is not.
Bayers Do it Best hardware has operated the only hardware store in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis for 88 years. Owner Bob Bayer said he was surprised when a longtime neighboring store that specialized in general merchandise decided to expand six weeks ago and become an Ace hardware dealer.
“Our customers drove this decision,” said Mark Settergren, whose family also operates a Settergren Ace Hardware at another Minneapolis location.
The two dealers briefly discussed merging the operations but could not come to terms, according to the article.
Although it is now the smaller hardware store, Bayers Do it Best Hardware has decided to bring in convenience items like food to distinguish it from the new Ace dealer. “We know we can have better prices and beat them at that game,” Bayer said.
Settergren, whose family has been in the retail business for 116 years, said he’s not looking for a fight. “This is not a hardware war at all,” he added. “It’s win-win for everybody.”
Bayer disagrees. “Are we at war with each other, competing? Yes we are.”