New hardware store opens doors in Bonner
When he first walked into the new Nuts and Bolts True Value hardware store, 626 S. 130th St., Frances Scherer of Basehor was eager to share his appreciation with Betty Bartholow, store office manager.
“I don’t have to go to Leavenworth or in on State (Avenue) to go to Ace Hardware,” Scherer said. “If you need three bolts they’re 30 cents, and with gas at $4 a gallon, you spend more just getting there.”
Bartholow said she’d been hearing the same thing all day Friday during the Bonner Springs store’s soft opening.
“Everybody’s been so nice, so gracious, so happy that we came out here,” she said.
The store is the fifth in the Nuts and Bolts chain, which already has two stores open in Overland Park, one in Independence, Mo., and another in Arlington, Texas. The store’s hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
The city approved a Community Improvement District for the hardware store and the adjacent strip mall on the southwest corner of Kansas Avenue and Kansas Highway 7 in January of this year. The district allowed a 1 percent sales tax increase for those buildings and the McDonald’s, which takes effect July 1, to help fund renovations for the former Cummins Tool space for Nuts and Bolts, the strip mall to the south and the parking lot, as well as develop the empty pad site south of the McDonald’s.
The city had several requirements for the district, including that the Nuts and Bolts be open by June 15.
While the store plans to have a grand opening with special activities over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28, Brian Richards, president of Nuts and Bolts, said a push was made to open the store in early May to offer all the outdoor and landscaping items usually associated with the spring season.
“The big season starts right now, because the lawn and garden stuff starts getting good,” Richards explained.
Looking around the store Friday, it was surprising to think how quickly it all came together, even for the employees.
“It’s hard to believe a month ago, we came in and they were laying down floor tile and that was all that was in the store,” said Marty Petry, assistant manager.
Work on the store has been running from as early as 5 a.m. to as late as 10 p.m. every day for the past three weeks to make sure it was ready for the soft opening, Brian Linch, store manager, said. The inside of the store was ready, but on Friday, some work on the exterior of the building was still being completed because contractors had several weather delays, Linch said.
Richards said customers will notice about a third of the store is dedicated to lawn and garden items. Customers also will notice the Nuts and Bolts is a much larger store compared to a Westlake Hardware store, offering about twice as many products, he said.
In addition to lawn and garden, the store offers housewares, paint, plumbing, electrical, tools and some larger equipment. It will have about 25 part- and full-time employees, Richards said.
Linch said Nuts and Bolts tries to be comparable in price to other hardware stores but provide more experienced employees in each department to provide better service.
“What I tell my people is if a customer asks a question and you don’t know the answer, you better believe there’s someone here who does,” Linch said.
Cliff and Marylou Isnard of Basehor visited the store on Friday and said they liked what they saw of the store’s offerings.
“We’re tired of driving to Leavenworth or Shawnee, so this is a godsend to us,” Cliff said. “And it seems live they’ve got a good variety of items.”