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Outside the 'big box'
NW couple opens second hardware store
(Published March 7, 2005)

Staff Writer

In a time when "big box" chains seem to be constantly threatening the survival of "mom-and-pop" businesses in the District, two entrepreneurs prove that many residents still prefer the services of local, community stores.

Two years after they started successful Logan Hardware in Logan Circle, Gina Schaefer and Marc Friedman recently opened their second store, Glover Park Hardware, in Northwest Washington.

"We knew that D.C. was under-served for hardware stores, and we had identified several neighborhoods that we thought could use a hardware store," Friedman said about the couple's choosing Glover Park for their second venture.

Both stores are members of Ace Hardware, the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the country.

Glover Park Hardware officially opened for business on Feb. 28, although it invited people in to shop the day before during a four-hour public reception celebrating its opening. The store will hold its official grand opening April 15-17, complete with giveaways, food, balloons and activities.

Glover Park's first day of business was "exciting," Schaefer said, welcoming 101 customers who purchased a variety of items from light bulbs to paint to nuts and bolts to cleaning supplies.

Logan Hardware, located at 1416 P St. NW, opened in March 2003 after Schaefer and Friedman grew frustrated that they had to travel as far as Maryland and Virginia to find the tools and materials they needed to complete home repairs.

The store, which spans 5,000 square feet on two floors, offers more than 15,000 items, including paints, power tools, electrical fixtures, garden tools and pet supplies. It also provides services such as glass and key cutting, screen repairing and home delivery.

Friedman said Logan Hardware has exceeded all of his and his wife's expectations. After two years, the store has surpassed sales projections by 20 percent, attracting 98,000 customers in the past year alone. They hired a sales staff of 15, five more than they thought they would need, and decided to extend the store's hours to better meet their customers' needs.

A year after opening Logan, Friedman and Schaefer decided they wanted to expand their business to another location.

Despite many customers' requests for them to open a store in their parts of town, Friedman said they were particularly interested in setting up shop along busy Wisconsin Avenue. Through one of their customers, the two met the landlord of Glover Park Hardware's current location at 2251 Wisconsin Ave.

At 8,500 square feet, the new store is slightly larger than its Logan Circle affiliate. It offers the same products and services as the first, with a "slightly wider breadth" of lawn, garden and outdoor living products, because of the neighborhood's greater amount of lawns and foliage, Friedman said.

Both stores are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While speaking on the phone with a reporter from The Common Denominator, Schaefer thanked a customer for his business after ringing up his purchase at the new Glover Park Hardware.

"We're all so glad you're here," the man's muffled voice could be heard saying from the other end of the line.

Copyright 2005 The Common Denominator