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Ace Hardware in Waynesboro will close

January 12, 2000

Ace Hardware to closeBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Ace Hardware at 604 E. Main St., at the entrance of Waynesboro Mall, is closing its doors as soon as all of its merchandise is sold out, its owners said Wednesday.

The store, which was opened in August 1994 by partners Dick Betts and Jeff Petrucci, is closing because the business never fulfilled the expectations of its owners, Betts said.

The closing will cost the jobs of three full-time employees and four part-time workers, Betts said. One full-time worker has found a new job, a second is close to getting one and the third is considering a training program, he said.

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The building is leased. It was vacant when Betts and Petrucci opened the store, and it will be vacant again when they leave unless Ace Hardware can find someone to open a new store at the site, Betts said.

"We took it from an empty store to a complete hardware store. I hope they can find someone," he said.

Ace Hardware, with more than 5,000 stores worldwide, is a cooperative owned by the store owners.

Former Oakland Raiders football coach and television personality John Madden appears in the company's TV commercials. Betts said he has met Madden on several occasions at company meetings.

The store began liquidating its inventory Wednesday with sales giving buyers up to 50 percent off, Betts said. It was busy with customers all day.

"We've been very successful so far," he said.

The store will close when the merchandise is sold, he said.

"Somebody could walk in tomorrow and buy out the whole store. We've already had one offer," Betts said.

Betts and Petrucci said they are sad to see the store close. They can recognize about 70 percent of their customers and know many by name, Petrucci said.

"We're going to miss being here. We've made a lot of friends in 5 1/2 years," he said. "We always had time to help our customers with their problems and took a lot of pride in our personal service. Our older customers will miss us most. There have been a lot of hugs and tears today," he said.

Petrucci also owns Heiston Supply Co. on Charles Town Road in Martinsburg, W.Va. Betts said he worked for Petrucci in the Martinsburg business for seven years before the two men formed the partnership that started the Waynesboro hardware store.

Betts, who lives in Waynesboro, said he was the managing partner of the business. He said he has a new job as a fund-raiser for nonprofit organizations.

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