By MORGAN MANNS
FOR THE COURIER
FOSTORIA — A hardware store is preparing to close its doors after 25 years of serving the Fostoria community.
Considerably slower foot traffic over the past nine years at Steinacker Hardware, 1656 N. Countyline St., has made it difficult to continue profitable operations, according to company officials.
“It’s a long process to try to build the inventory at the levels the community needs,” said owner Luke Steinacker. “To put in the right product mix and be able to maintain it while still losing your customer base and not getting those footsteps in the door, you don’t really get returns on investment.”
“This community has supported my family for 25 years so we’re very grateful of just being a part of the community and the support they’ve given us,” he said. “Unfortunately, we just couldn’t keep it going.”
A liquidation sale will begin Wednesday, with all items in the building available for purchase at discounted prices, from lawn and garden equipment to plumbing and electrical tools, fixtures, articles in the rental fleet, sheds, shelves and more.
“Anything that can be removed from the building will be for sale,” Steinacker said. “Anything people can think of that they’ve gotten or rented or seen in the store will be for sale.”
A full-service hardware store, the business has provided a small engine repair shop, sharpening service, cut and threaded pipe, a lawn and garden market and various hardware supplies as well as a rental service, which will close Saturday.
No official closing date for the store has been set.
The eight Fostoria employees were informed of the closure Wednesday, according to Steinacker.
“We’re not a big corporate structure. We immerse ourselves with the daily lives of our employees,” he said. “This is their livelihood, and we wanted to be as up front as possible with them.”
Steinacker Hardware opened in 1992. Steinacker’s parents, Dan and Ruth, started the business on West Tiffin Street in the Fostoria Town Center. The store expanded to include a rental department in 1996 and a commercial supply department in 1999.
They moved the store to its current location on North Countyline Street in 2000 and became an Ace Hardware dealer in 2001.
Steinacker joined the family business in 2005 and bought the company from his parents three years ago. He said he rents the facility from his father, who will retain ownership of the building and land after the business closes.
The structure will be available for rent, according to Steinacker, and possibly sold “if the right offer is made.”
Steinacker and his father opened a second company store in 2006 at 4781 Liberty Ave. in Vermilion. He said that location will stay open and he will continue to operate it after the Fostoria branch closes.
Business hours in Fostoria will continue to be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays throughout the liquidation.
The store will also be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Steinacker said these hours will fluctuate depending upon customer traffic.