Hardware stores considered essential during “shelter in place”

Local News

WACO, Texas: Keith Ace Hardware on Hewitt Drive has been a staple of the community for over thirty years, now it has a new superlative: essential.

Hardware stores are listed among businesses like hospitals and grocery stores as places that are able to stay open during the “shelter in place” order. Assistant manager Jessica Laroque thinks it may be because of the store’s versatility.

“We carry a little of everything whether it’s to take care of the home, plumbing, electrical, we carry so many things just to keep the household functioning,” Laroque said. “We’re definitely here to make sure people are good.”

Being locked in the house may seem like a perfect time to paint a room or fix something up, but the hardware stores may actually serve a more important purpose for people sheltering in place.

“A lot of them are trying to keep their kids from going bonkers while they’re trapped in the house so a lot of them have been doing little gardening projects, just to keep them occupied,” Laroque said. “A lot of them are still trying to get outside and do stuff so gardening has definitely been the big influx of what we’ve been seeing.”

With more people motivated to start their D.I.Y. projects around the house, the store has seen a rise in demand and have been busier than usual.

In fact, there has been one craze they haven’t been able to avoid.

“With the run on toilet paper and things like that wherever we can find it, that’s how we’re getting it brought in and tried to get the customer taken care of,” Laroque said. “The bigger stores are having an issue with it so we’re dropping ship everything in we can possibly get our hands on.”

They claim they have not had problems getting employees to come to work and stay healthy.

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