Thursday, Sept. 20:
Tuesday, Sept. 18:
With it’s red brick exterior and large display windows filled with various items on display, Newtown Hardware House has been a staple of South State Street in the borough for several lifetimes. In just weeks time, the store is set to close for good, according to a 8x11 computer paper sign posted in the window of the classic-looking store.
“The closing of Newtown Hardware is a major hit to the Newtown Borough business district,” President of the Newtown Business Association Mick Petrucci said Tuesday morning.
With the international downturn in the economy, increasing rent, the rise of big box hardware giants and huge growth in online shopping, stores like Newtown Hardware House have faced increasing competition. Many have not been able to keep up with the lack of sales tax, low prices and quick shipping that faceless internet retailers can offer.
Members of the community have worked over the past two years to try to turn the tide and help the 142-year-old wood floored store survive.
In 2011, the staff of the store and community supporters passed out thousands of “Save Newtown Hardware” bumper stickers in an effort to increase sales.
Then in April of this year, locals surprised the store with a “cash mob.” The mob dropped in on a Saturday morning and were encouraged to spend at least $20 in the store. Turnout for the event was huge, according to Phillyburbs.com.
Petrucci said Newtown Hardware House, mom-and-pop retail and dining establishments are what make Main Street USA towns like Newtown so special.
David Callahan, owner of the Newtown Hardware House, is a “true Newtownian who gives so much back to the community,” Petrucci said.
Petrucci was not not clear as to what will happened with the storefront where the hardware shop sits now, but he will keep his “ear to the pavement.”
"I think we will survive," Callahan responded when asked by the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2011 on whether the Newtown Hardware House would still be around in five years.
What are your thoughts on the closing of Newtown Hardware House? Share your thoughts in the comments section.