Sunday, January 22, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

This afternoon I made a trip to my local paint store. I have been meaning to make a trip over there to have them mix a few more gallons of the oil paint I am using on my interior trim. Ok, I will confess. In light of the current push to phase out oil paints......I am hording. I've tried the new oil "subsitutue" enamels and wasn't impressed. I want a few gallons of the old stuff in my basement just in case.

Anywho......the paint store was closed. So, I decided to take a quick little trip down to my favorite hardware store, St. Paul's Grand Avenue Hardware.

As I neared the store, much to my surprise I saw "Going Out of Business. Everything must go." signs plastered everywhere.


I found a parking spot in the masses of cars coming and going and went inside. There were bare shelves everywhere and customers snatching up the remaining deals.

I found one of the salespeople and asked how long this had been going on. Her reply was a "few days" and then she put her head down and scrambled away. I heard another customer express surprise about the sudden closing to another employee and that employee was equally evasive....something about it being a "sad story" and "unexpected."

A little later I asked another salesperson if the closing was planned. He was very vague and said the business was for sale and then couldn't wait to run away from me and avoid further questions. The employees had been told not to talk about the detailes of the closing. Huh. My guess would be that this means somewhere there is a lawyer involved. What hardware store would sell the inventory of the store if they were planning on selling the business? Something is fishy in Denmark.

It was a cash only sale, so I picked up some paint stripper, garden gloves, oil, and copper wool (which is exactly why I shop here - who else carried copper wool?). To be honest, I was still so surprised I couldn't formulate a list of things that I could use.

When I got to the checkout counter, I asked the cashier if the closing was sudden. (I figured I'd be able to get at least one of the salespeople to crack.) Again, she was vague. I said "oh, there is a story behind all this that we can't talk about...I gather ;-)." She said "a story will break in the newspaper soon, I'm sure."

This leaves me very sad that we are losing one of those great old time hardware stores.....and very curious as to the conditions surrounding it.

Anyone know the details?


kk said...

I don't know the details, but I will also be curious to find out the details.
I do know that Macalester College owns a lot of those buildings near the campus on Grand. I hope that this is not related to them. They worked with Ruminator Books for a while when they fell behind on the rent -- it wouldn't be like them to push someone out with no (public) warning.

StuccoHouse said...

Mac....I didn't even think of that. It was weird when she mentioned a possible newspaper article. It was like she did not want it to appear. The employees didn't seem outraged like I'd think they would be if say they were being forced out by a landlord. Or maybe I'm just reading into it. At any rate, they have me curious. I love those little mom & pop shops on that streach of Grand Ave.

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