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Poll Question: ‘essential’ retail

Are hardware stores ‘essential?’ Yes or yes?

BY HBSDealer Staff

In the effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, a question has begun to confront state and local health officials over which retail operations are essential, and which should be temporarily shuttered.

Leaders of major co-ops and hardware distributors provided an eloquent response in a statement released Monday. The statement reads in part: “locally owned home improvement stores have a proven track record of providing essential supplies and support to communities.” (See the article here.)

The issue sparked the following HBSDealer poll question: “Are hardware stores essential? Yes or yes?” The poll is available on the right side of this page (or scroll down your mobile device).

HBSDealer’s position is very clear. When one considers the plumbing aisle, the electrical aisle, the cleaning and chemical aisle – and the how-to advice that contributes to a safe and functioning dwelling — hardware stores qualify as “essential retail.”

Consider also these excerpts from a recent message to customers of Woodstock Hardware in Woodstock, N.Y.

“For years we have preached ‘preparedness’ and do not intend to spread or capitalize on fear. For those who do not know, Woodstock Hardware believes that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’

“Everyone at Woodstock Hardware works hard to persevere in unusual circumstances. We do not panic or overreact but instead we focus on making sure to do everything we can to meet your needs. We are here to help you and your family, in any way we can, during these unusual times.”

Owner Vince Christofora added:  “I am at my computer for over 12 hours a day working on sourcing and arranging delivery of the products and supplies you and your family need to get through the next 2-4 weeks…or longer.”

This is the kind of business attitude that makes communities work, and it’s an attitude that runs rampant throughout the hardware and building supply industry. And that’s why we feel there’s only one correct answer to our latest poll question.

Share your thoughts here.

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