Keizer Ace closing Jan. 31

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Jan (left) and Greg Frank stand in front of their Ace Hardware store Tuesday on River Road N. The store, which has been in the Frank family since 1979, is being closed at the end of January. The Franks are keeping their West Salem store open. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

Jan (left) and Greg Frank stand in front of their Ace Hardware store Tuesday on River Road N. The store, which has been in the Frank family since 1979, is being closed at the end of January. The Franks are keeping their West Salem store open. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

 

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Ace Hardware may be the place, but Keizer isn’t.

Greg Frank, owner of the Keizer Ace at 5014 River Road North, announced this week he’s closing his store at the end of January.

Frank’s Salem store at 820 Wallace Road Northwest will remain open.

The Keizer Ace started as Coast to Coast Hardware in 1972. Frank’s parents, Chuck and Janette Frank, bought the store in 1979. It became True Value Hardware in 1986. Frank took over the business in 2011, when the store switched hardware cooperatives to Ace.

“After 34 years we regret to announce that we will be closing our Keizer location on Friday, January 31,” Frank said. “As our lease is expiring it necessitated a thorough review of our continued business plan for this location. After reviewing many factors, it was clear that renewing the lease was not a prudent business decision. We thank the many folks who have supported us these last 34 years and hope when your plans allow you can visit us at our West Salem location.”

Frank emphasized it was not an easy decision to make.

“That would be correct,” he said. “Our lease was expiring here. We just reviewed all of the many factors and it was clear renewing the lease was not a prudent business decision.”

What were the main factors?

“There were a variety of factors,” Frank said. “But the cost of the lease and entering into another long-term lease, plus the sales history of this location were the two main ones.”

The decision has been mulled over for a while.

“It’s been going on the last couple of months,” Frank said. “The lease expires in March, so we needed to make a determination prior to that.”

Now comes the challenge of letting the community know the news of the closure.

“It’s difficult, but we also live in a time where things certainly change,” Frank said. “As the old phrase goes, it is what it is. It’s very difficult. Having said that, it’s just the reality of where we’re at.”

The Keizer store has 10 employees, while the West Salem store has 11 employees. Frank will be laying off five employees with the closure.

“Unfortunately we will have to combine workforces so we will have to lay some people off,” he said.

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