Almost 70-year-old hardware store closing its doors - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Almost 70-year-old hardware store closing its doors

J.M. Parker & Sons has been around since the 1940s. J.M. Parker & Sons has been around since the 1940s.
The sign outside the business. The sign outside the business.

SUPPLY, NC (WECT) - A family-owned business that's been around for almost 70 years in Supply is getting ready to close its doors. The owner of J.M. Parker and Sons, Inc. said the economy is forcing him to close his hardware and contractor supply store in Brunswick County.

"I grew up in this store," said owner Al Parker. "I've done pretty much all of it."

Parker's dad passed the fourth-generation family-owned business down to him. Parker's grandfather opened the business as a general store in the 1940s. It evolved into a hardware store and contractor supply store.

"Over the years it's kind of gotten more contractor and less consumer," he said.

He said there were a number of reasons for the change.

"Big box [stores] came in and kind of took a lot of our walk-ins away and we ended up selling a lot more to contractors so it kind of generated in that direction," he said.

Working mostly with contractors he said has caused some issues. That business model acquires more debt than a hardware store, which over time, has caused trouble for the store. But he said, instead of throwing in the towel, the store plans to reopen in about a year.

We asked Parker if he was looking forward to the change.

"You just don't know how excited I am, you don't have a clue," he said. "I'm glad. It'll be a lot smaller scale, but probably longer hours, less pay, but no bad debt that'll be the big thing."

He said he will open an Ace Hardware store on the same site after a developer comes in and rebuilds the area. He said it will have his store, a grocery store and a drug store.

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