Putting the spotlight on retailers whose business is an important part of the community
You may be able to buy your screws and timer on the internet but nothing beats the smell of a hardware shop.
For nearly 30 years those living in the village of Weaverham have been able to find all their DIY essentials at their local hardware store which was opened by Barry Starnes back in August 1989.
Barry had worked for his parents at their shop Star Buys, Winsford, from 1976 until they retired in 1989 and he decided to strike out on his own.
‘In 1993 we had a big extension built within the shop and in 1999 we extended again taking over the shop next door, which made it more viable as we had a lot more storage,’ he explains.
‘Today we may not have as much footfall as we used to but we are fighting back. We listen to what our customers want and stock it. Only today someone came in and asked for a kind of wood glue that I have never heard of so I have ordered it. It’s all about being able to adapt. ‘
Adapting to the seasons is another way the shop has thrived. ‘In the winter we sell bottled gas, logs, firewood and kindling and we use local suppliers where ever we can,’ says Barry.
‘Then in the summer, it’s bedding plants and gardening items. We also stock wood, paints and lots of DIY items and we also fit watch batteries and cut keys. All these things make a business.’
Weaverham Hardware store now has seven members of staff, including Barry’s daughter Emma and her husband Graham.
‘Many of our staff have been with us a long time, some of them at least 20 years’ he says.
‘Experience is a wonderful thing. It’s that one to one relationship that people still value and, of course, we are local. I am local, our staff are local and we use local suppliers as much as we can.
‘And when I give up the shop, Graham and Emma are hoping to take it on and carry it forward - I hope they do.’