Kredo Hardware is shutting its doors in Pepper Pike’s Landerwood Plaza at the end of the year.
“The world is changing and the younger generation, they buy things differently,” second-generation owner Chris Denkins said. “My core clientele – the old guard, if you will – are fewer and fewer and so it’s a challenge for sure.”
The hardware store was established in 1898 by the Kredo family and was bought by Denkins’ father in 1970.
“I grew up in it,” Denkins said. “I didn’t know it was gonna be a career path for me, but that’s what it turned out to be.”
When Denkins was 5 years old, he, his brother and sister started working weekends and summers at the store.
“I learned the business as a child and through college,” he recalled. “Then I left for a few years and then came back.”
After buying the business from his father in 2006, Denkins downsized for the first time.
Noting there were three locations when he bought the business – “it consisted of the two retail locations that I have now and we had an industrial supply house downtown,” – the South Russell resident said he immediately liquidated the industrial supply.
Describing that end of the business as having been “no longer viable," Denkins said. "I consolidated and concentrated on the retail, built that nicely and have had a good run up to this point."
According to Denkins, closing his location in Landerwood Plaza has been in the back of his mind “for the last year or so knowing that my lease was coming due.”
After analyzing sales data from the past several years, Denkins concluded sales had been flat for quite some time and were particularly down this year.
“The cost of doing business has just continued to escalate and sales have not kept up with the costs,” Denkins said. “We’re at a point right now where the amount of money we’re spending on rent just doesn’t make sense anymore.”
Denkins will retain Kredo Hardware’s Broadview Heights location.
“It’s a store about twice the size of this store and it’s doing really well,” Denkins said. “I own that property and so I’m going to hang my hat over there and try to make a go of it as a single-store outfit.”
Denkins is offering 30% off at his Landerwood Plaza location until closing.
“There are some selected items that are up to 50% off and of course we’re accepting all reasonable offers,” Denkins said. “Something in here that somebody wants, they could put an offer on the table and I’m likely to accept it.”
Denkins said everything is for sale.
“Listen, it costs a lot of money to move product,” Denkins explained. “Paint is heavy and I’d rather just sell it and be done with it and go from there.”