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In Caldwell, ACE Will No Longer Be the Place

Hardware store closing in coming days.

ACE Hardware in Caldwell will close before the end of the month, store manager John McDermott confirmed Thursday.

Everything in the store is 30% off and store hours have been reduced to Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

McDermott told Patch Monday that had been looking for months for a business to share the 17,000-square-foot space on Bloomfield Avenue in an effort to stay afloat. He said he found out later that day that the store would be closing.

“I don’t think [the owners] have a clear plan for when the last day is going to be,” said McDermott, who has worked at the hardware store since it opened in 2006.

The business at its peak had 32 employees and was recently down to 15. Through attrition, there are seven staff members remaining.

Employees were seen outside the store this week discussing their future plans and hanging signs in the windows that read "Storewide Clearance" and "30% Off Everything!" Inside, shelves that have not been restocked in a while, are looking bare. 

“I don’t think it’s a surprise because we have had such a struggle for so long,” McDermott said. “We’ve heard a lot of regrets [from customers].”

McDermott added that the hardware industry in North Jersey as a whole has been struggling in recent years.

“We don’t know of anyone who says they are doing well,” he said.

Vincent Occhino from Verona said he likes to do work around his house and he stops in the store about once a week.

"I think it was a convenience to have a store so near, but the competition ... I guess it's great," Occhino said. 

Another shopper from Verona, Dave Shatzel, said he has been coming to ACE since the store opened to get everything from "A to Z" and was coming in for plumbing supplies.

"It's a shame," Shatzel said, "We need a hardware store in Caldwell."

As news got around town of the store closing, customers were stopping in Thursday to see what they might pick up for two-thirds of the price. But with the stock so low, not everyone found what they were looking for, such as Geraldine Flanagan of North Caldwell. 

Still Flanagan was sorry to see the store go. "It's sad," she said.

Hilda August 04, 2011 at 09:25 PM
"GOOD, THEY NEED TO CLOSE. I WAS IN THERE OVER THREE YEARS AGO AND NO ONE WOULD WAIT ON ME!"
peggy August 04, 2011 at 09:53 PM
I am so sorry to hear this !!! The workers were so wonderful to my Bryan Giordano who worked there on Wed. It's not always easy to find a job for a special needs young man. He really enjoyed working there. I wish all the employees good luck. Peggy Giordano
Lisa August 04, 2011 at 10:17 PM
I am so sorry to hear that ACE is closing. I was always welcomed by the staff with a smile and they were always willing to help. I have gone to ACE several times in the past few months as we have had 3 major projects going on. Actually I have been there so often that I am greeted by name when i go there! I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all but especially Steve and Dan! Good Luck to all! Sincerely, Lisa Hajihaidari
EMG August 05, 2011 at 03:56 AM
Very sad that you are closing - Thank you John, Bart, Joe, Dan, Steve and Margaret. You were so nice to Bryan and myself. You are a great group of people. Wishing you the best - Liz
Frank M. August 05, 2011 at 12:30 PM
It's aweful to hear of any business closing, especially a local one.
Rachela Doran August 05, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Not surprised. We have been there a few times in the past year and no one knew where anything was and shelves were half empty at that time. They can't compete with The Home Depot that way.
Robert Thiemann August 05, 2011 at 01:31 PM
A sad sign of the times. Home depot has a set inventory and for those of us who don't want to buy all new products just to replace a screw, always went to ACE for the more common things HD doesn't carry as part of their push to get you to buy all new products. Schantz's was the best and ACE tried to fill the gap. The ACE employees were always helpfull and polite though there were times you had to be patient to get help when they were busy and I have seen a number leave in a huff when they didn't get served right away. They always had that hard to find part. I will miss them greatly.
Mac McPeters August 05, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Yes this is bad. Sears never had everything i needed and i just hate the thought of going to You know where for something small. Ace was the place but maybe to big, maybe greedy owners with eyes bigger than their wallets or what ever. It seems that this just started to go down hill. Once it was clean and quick then the help starts getting ,"funny". Then It closes. other Aces seem to be doing okay. And if it's competition as someone mentioned then compete. More jobs lost. Where are those Millionaires?
jo August 08, 2011 at 06:37 AM
Bring in a Trader Joes guarantee it will do well & stay. This area needs fresher & better quality food choices than Shop Rite can offer. Stop & Shop is ok but is missing the specialty items we could buy at Kings.
kevin hunt August 22, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Trader Joes would be a home run but caldwell may have a zoning limit on the number of large retail food sellers. I'm just guessing but baring that, I agree that the size of the building and the lot would fit perfectly with the TJ's style. Let's open it! I'm looking for a new venture.
Teresa Akersten (Editor) August 22, 2011 at 04:01 PM
There is actually a Facebook page for this "cause"... http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-want-need-a-Trader-Joes-in-the-FairfieldCaldwells-Area-NJ/464936650598

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