It only just opened, but a brand new Ace Hardware in northeast Fresno has already become a favorite. Mostly because teh store used to be one of the city’s popular Orchard Supply Hardware locations — bringing back many loyal customers.
Thursday has been a day the Barry and Barbara McCreary have been waiting for. Barbara found out about the store’s soft opening on one of her neighborhood smartphone apps and immediately made time to stop by.
The McCreary’s had been loyal customers of OSH for many years. In August, the Fresno OSH locations closed down after Lowe’s decided to pull the plug on all 99 locations nationwide.
Since that time, the McCreary’s had been going to the Lowe’s in River Park — begrudgingly.
“It’s not a long ways [from our house], but you got to go through all the traffic,” Barry said.
Barry McCreary and his wife were part of the steady flow of people strolling in to check out Ace Hardware’s line of products. General manager Frank Netto — who also served as the OSH general manager — said former OSH customers will notice the familiar lineup.
However, there are some new and expanded offerings, like more pet and animal products and barbecue equipment. There’s also a full nursery stocked with a variety of plants.
Netto said neighbors have welcomed the store with open arms.
“We had people peeking in the windows seeing what was going on [during the transition period]. It’s just been steadily growing from there,” he said.
The location is more than double the size of the average Ace Hardware, according to Netto, sitting at 32,000 square feet. Netto adds its been a smooth transition, though, with a lot of the associates on staff being former OSH workers.
“They have the experience, the knowledge between [both stores]. It was an easy flow,” he said.
The grand opening is set for July 19, then on July 20 there will be a kind of block party in the parking lot with numerous vendors to enjoy.