Wisconsin hardware store closes after 55 years

In Jefferson, Wis., a local mainstay is shutting its doors after 55 years. Though it wasn't suffering any extreme hardships, Punzel Hardware has announced its plans to close early this year after owner Jeff Punzel got a more lucrative job offer that will free up time for him to spend with his family, the Wisconsin Daily Union reported.

According to the news source, the store was surviving relatively well, but profit margins were tight for the independent.

The store has been in the family since 1958, when Punzel's father, Lyle, purchased it. It opened in 1959 as a Gambles hardware store and continued on as an independent when Gambles sold out in 1980. It would later enter a franchise agreement with Trustworthy Hardware, and in 2007, Jeff and his wife, Toni, closed the original store and took over the True Value store in his hometown, opening it up as Punzel Ace Hardware. It went independent again early in 2013 as Punzel Hardware & Rental.

“Though the name changed many times, the family spirit and dedication to serving the Jefferson community never changed,” Jeff Punzel told the news source. “We have seen many faces come and go as our customer base has changed over the years, and we appreciate the loyalty and dedication our customers have shown us.”

“We went fully independent at the beginning of this year, and I wish we had done that years ago,” Toni Punzel added. “There is ample opportunity in this market for an independent hardware store, but it isn’t going to be this one.”

The store will remain open for the time being, with liquidation-level discounts on its stock and rental items. Inventory is expected to sell out in January or February.

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