Family-owned hardware store to call it quits after 70 years

Competition from big-box stores, loss of nearby grocer helped doom shop, former co-owner says

“Business has been slow — it’s hard to compete against the big-box stores,” said Judy Miller, who bought the store at Ohio 741 and Ohio 73 in 1987 with her late husband Bob. The couple’s son Steve, and daughter-in-law Amy, now own the shop.

In addition, the December closure of the Springboro IGA store, located in the same shopping center as the hardware store, reduced foot traffic and further cut into sales, Miller said.

“It just got to the point we couldn’t keep going,” Miller said.

Miller’s comments echo statements made last fall by Doug Preston, co-owner of Springboro IGA, which had been in business since 1958 when it closed down, affecting 20 employees. “We just can’t keep losing money week after week,” Preston said in November 2014. “With all the big (grocery) stores around, it’s hard to compete these days.”

The city is interested in making improvements to the Ohio 73-Ohio 741 intersection adjacent to the shopping center.

A handful of employees will lose their jobs in the coming days, and the four generations of the Miller family will work the final week of the store’s existence.

“It’s sad,” Miller said.

The hardware store has started an inventory clearance sale that offers 20 percent off purchases of $10 or more.

Springboro Hardware is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through the end of the month. For more information, call (937) 748-1361.

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