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Nashville hardware store to relocate

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Construction workers get a frame ready to pour concrete Wednesday at the relocation of Bell’s Hardware in Nashville.

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Monday, August 5, 2019

NASHVILLE — For the first time in years, Nashville is going to have a hardware store and the place also is going to be flying the flag of a major brand.

Construction crews are working to build the future home of Bell’s Ace Hardware & Outdoor Power Equipment off East Washington Street, across from the Walgreens Pharmacy and next to the new O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Bell’s presently is an independent business off N.C. 58 northwest of town.

Owner Jeremy Bell told the Telegram plans are for the steel part of the future location to begin being put into place soon. As for an opening time, Bell said, “Right now, I’m shooting for hopefully around November,” weather permitting.

Bell’s present location is approximately 4,200 square feet. The future location is going to be approximately 14,000 square feet and is going to have more hardware-related items and products for sale.

Bell said the pluses of having the Ace name above the storefront include name recognition, a nationwide advertising program and a wider range of products. And Bell noted Ace is big in the paint sales business.

Bell, 37, established an outdoor power equipment business in 2001, right after graduating from high school.

He said the location generated both more business and a demand for a larger payroll and so he began looking at options to expand the business from a seasonal one to more of a year-round one.

He said he decided to add the hardware part because hardware and outdoor power equipment go together well as merchandise.

He said the decision to add the hardware part was to the appreciation of customers who told him they were tired of having to drive to Rocky Mount for hardware-related items and products.

He said he had plans drawn up for adding on to the N.C. 58 location but learned of the property being available off East Washington.

He also said with the expansion of the hardware store part he knew he was going to have to be in the middle of a shopping area for convenience.

The future Bell’s Ace Hardware & Outdoor Power Equipment is just east of downtown Nashville, across Washington Street from a shopping center anchored by a Piggly Wiggly supermarket and a few minutes west of a shopping area featuring a Walmart Supercenter.

Bell also said the future location is going to have a showroom for outdoor power equipment. Bell said the present location once had a showroom for outdoor power equipment before that space was converted to set up the hardware part.

And Bell said pet and livestock food, which is stored in a separate warehouse at the present location, is going to be stored within the climate control of the future location.

And he expects to hire more people at the future location.

“Right now, it’s just five of us at the current location — and we’re guessing probably around 20 at the new store,” Bell said.

The present location is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

When the future location opens, the business hours are going to be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Bell said he cannot recall Nashville having had a hardware store in at least 15 years.

The Baines family had a hardware store downtown at what today is the Nashville Exchange Steakhouse & Cafe. That store closed in 1999.

Bell also recalled a hardware store was once located along Eastern Avenue but disappeared from the business scene. He was referring to what was Nashville Hardware and Sporting Goods.

As for the present Bell’s location, Bell said he has the “for sale” sign out. Bell said if a prospective buyer does not approach or contact him by the time he moves to the future location, then he is going to have the present location listed with a real estate agent.