BRISTOL, Va. – Shelves are stocked, a staff is hired and trained and doors are set to open on the first Curt’s Ace Hardware store.

Located in the Euclid Avenue shopping center, the new store is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 20. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. The new effort is owned and being operated by Food City, President and CEO Steve Smith.

“We’re excited Bristol will be our first Ace Hardware and we’ll have five more before the year is out, right here in the Tri-Cities,” Smith said.

A Piney Flats location is to open Aug. 22, the former Mize Farm & Garden location in Gray will reopen as a Curt’s Ace Hardware in September, followed by Erwin and Elizabethton, Smith said. They plan to open an Abingdon, Virginia, location in 2023.

“This is different but the one thing common about this is it’s a community-based company serving our communities,” Smith said. “The old hardware stores of days gone by are becoming a thing of the past. It’s all big-box retailers and, my experience is that, not everybody wants to shop at a big-box retailer. That’s where we built our niche at Food City.”

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The Bristol store is about 9,000 square feet and most of the other locations are expected to be of comparable size.

“We think our partnership with Ace gives us the buying power of a big-box retailer but with the feel of a local store,” Smith said. “And we can get about anything people would want through Ace. That’s what our folks will endeavor to do for our customers – if we don’t have it, give us a few days and we’ll get it for you.

The name Curt’s is a tribute to Smith’s grandfather who was a merchant that ran a general mercantile store in Grundy.

“He had the Post Office inside that general mercantile store and sold everything from shoes to hardware and ran a soda fountain,” Smith said. “We wanted to honor him and identify with one of the patriarchs of our company.”

Aisles are neatly organized so do-it-yourselfers or contractors can run in to pick up plumbing components, fixtures, electrical, fasteners including bolts, screws, specialty fasteners, hardware items like door handles, drawer pulls, hinges, brackets, electrical supplies and hardware – from wire to switches to outlets and covers. There is a battery section with a wide array of specialty batteries, light bulbs for all manner of applications and a big selection of ladders.

Located in the center of the store, the paint department is expected to be among the most popular, store manager Kyle Geffers said.

Ace sells Benjamin Moore paints and stain products and stocks a wide array of brushes, rollers, tape and other painting supplies, he said.

The store will carry a full line of Stihl power equipment, including chain saws, leaf blowers and string trimmers and offer Stihl repairs in-house.

Ace stocks a complete selection of Craftsman hand tools, plus some power tools as well.

There is also a section for yard and garden supplies, water hoses and hose repair equipment, sprinklers, weed killers, insect sprays, grass seed and fertilizers. Shoppers can also find a complete line of household cleaning supplies, mops and brooms.

They offer glass cutting, screen door repair, chain repair, wire cutting and other services.

Ace locations will also work to supply professional contractors and offer delivery service, Geffers said.

Each location will carry an array of Blue Ridge Knives, a wholesaler from Marion, with a diverse selection of top-name brand products.

A fenced area in the parking lot will include landscaping supplies. Starting next spring, items will include mulch, rock and other outdoor decor items.        

Store hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

By AKDSEO