Etheridge Hardware merges with Home Hardware CenterPublished 12:04am Wednesday, May 29, 2013
NATCHEZ — Two long-time local hardware stores have hammered out a deal to join forces.
Effective Saturday, Home Hardware Centers will acquire Etheridge Hardware.
The pending acquisition was announced Tuesday by Home Hardware Center President Jimmy R. Smith.
Etheridge Hardware was created in 1965 by Bill and Alma Etheridge, first as an auto supply store, then later an auto and hardware store.
Glenn Etheridge, owner and manager since 1978, will become the manager of the Natchez Home Hardware Center location.
“Both my girls just finished college,” Etheridge said Tuesday. “I’m thankful for what we’ve been able to do through the years at the store.
“Jim called me about a month ago, and although I didn’t plan on this, it’s time,” Etheridge said. “It’s going to be a good different, different, but a good different.”
Saying goodbye to the family business that his parents created 48 years ago is bittersweet, Etheridge said. With the merger, the store located at 315 D’Evereux Drive will close. In recent years, the store had downsized from a larger location on U.S. 61 North.
“It’s exciting and sad. The good part is the same customers, we hope, will come right on to the new location, he said. “Over all that time, they’re much more than customers, many are good friends.”
Etheridge said the hardware business was part of his life and he’s happy to remain involved in the business.
“I was delivering auto parts with my mother when I was little back when I couldn’t drive,” Etheridge said. “This is all I’ve ever known.”
Smith said the five employees of Etheridge Hardware would be offered employment at Home Hardware Center.
A moving and liquidation sale will begin Saturday and continue until the merger is complete.
Smith started Home Hardware Center in 1984 and now operates several dozen hardware and home centers in more than half a dozen states.
In April, the company opened a new branded store in Natchez, Town and Country Farm and Hardware at the former Stahlman Lumber location in Natchez.