Over the last 60 years there have been plenty of great things that have happened here in our store. And similarly, there a few things that have not happened to our store. We thought we’d take this opportunity to share ten misconceptions that pop up regularly about our store:
We are owned by True Value. False. Never have been, never will be. We are still owned by the same family that started the store in 1955. We were a member of the True Value hardware co-operative from 1986 until the end of 2016. Being members of this co-operative allowed us to source the merchandise our customers need for a fair price. Collectively, we along with the other members of the co-op can pool our buying power to compete with the big box stores.
- We are owned by Ace Hardware. Nope. Same response as the one above regarding True Value. Ace is also a co-operative, and in 2016 we opted to switch from True Value to Ace because they provided the best products and services that we needed to take care of our customers.
- We are part of a chain. Uh-uh. We have one store. Yes, we tried a satellite store out at Thunderbird (now known as The Meadows Shopping Center at Baseline & Foothill Parkway) in 1965, but by 1986, we closed that store to concentrate on our main store here at Arapahoe and Folsom.
- We only buy from our co-op. Nah. With our unabashed commitment to support local independent businesses like ourselves, we actually source goods from over 1,500 vendors.
- We own the building we are in. Negative. Yes, we’ve been here a long, long time and we are the largest store in the shopping center,
but we do not own the building. We are tenants and we have had a number of great landlords over the decades…. Reg Platt, John Cohagen, and now the Gart brothers or Gart Properties, to name a few. (Recent customer issues with parking here in the Village Shopping Center reminded us to include this misconception)
- We are so much more expensive. No siree. We do our best to be competitive yet responsible with our pricing. We stay competitive by using our co-op buying power (See #1 & #2 above). But let’s also remember that we employee 250 people and they need to afford to live HERE… we pay sales taxes HERE so that public schools, public works, open space, bike trails, etc. can thrive HERE…. we do this because we are based HERE. Much of our competition is based out of state and do not have the same financial obligations or the moral compass that we do. Ditto for our online competition. So before mocking our prices, we ask you to think about what you are actually paying for when you shop here.
- We have a pretty lax security staff. Fat chance. It’s widely recognized that if theft happens, the price of goods has to go up in order to cover the losses. And
when you don’t have other stores to offset those losses, you become very diligent about the security of your store. Well, with our four entrances, our security team is super diligent so that we don’t have to increase pricing. Once upon a time, the CU Boulder residence hall staff used to warn incoming students to think twice about shoplifting at our store because the likelihood of being cuaght was and still is high.
- We don’t have enough parking. No way. With nearly 1,000 parking spaces in the Village Shopping Center, there’s plenty of parking on the north, south, east and west sides of our store. Now with the four entrances we’ve mentioned above, the door you might refer to as our “front door” may differ from the other people that stop by to shop the day you do… if most of the people that call our south entrance the “front” show up at the same time, they might have to park on the west side… but like we said, we’ve got four entrances and plenty of parking. Recently, the property managers of our mall noticed a higher volume of “illegal” parking by those that take advantage of our free parking lot… one example is CU Boulder students or football fans that park here and then walk to campus for classes or a game… thankfully, the mall’s efforts have curbed much of this sort of illegal parking.
We can’t wait for bigger name chain stores to move into our mall. No thanks. Remember that bit above about us preferring to support local independent businesses? Our mall is uniquely 98% independently owned and operated.
- We are just like every other hardware store. Not on your life. What hardware store is actually a tourist destination? Where did you go when you needed to help your son or daughter figure out how to build their award-winning science fair project for school? Where does Ball Aerospace go for parts for their next vehicle that they launch into space? Who else has a harpist during the holidays that has been performing for your shopping pleasure for over 25 years? We do have a wonderful story to tell. A story that is as much a part of Boulder as Boulder is a part of our store. Thankfully, we were able to enlist one of Boulder’s favorite journalists, Clay Bonnyman Evans, to tell our story. Clay wrote a book this year titled, Behind the Green Vest. We think he did a great job.
Stop by for a visit soon! And if you have any other questions for us or myths that you need us to debunk, just let us know.