They’re having a going out of business sale, so I stopped in at Kernen’s Hardware on Main Street in Madison this morning to see how their 75% off day went yesterday. I was told they sold some of the more unusual items-things that had been in the store a long time. A few individuals really took advantage of the discount.
Present inventory includes some items that used to be made in Madison, some packages the types of products that Mr. and Mrs. Kernen both used to help manufacture and package at the Tower Manufacturing Company in Madison in years past. Now those brass tacks and other items will be made in Pakistan or China, with customers sacrificing quality for price.
It seems the American way these days, to price the little Mom and Pop stores out of business with big box stores, ergo the hard-to-find merchandise and service disappears as well. As long as people do not support the smaller local businesses there will be fewer and fewer of them. Kernen’s was fairly competitive (price-wise) with Lowes but it wasn’t enough to keep them in inventory or food on their table.
Small towns used to be where one could find quality and service, but dollars are in the driver’s seat these days and I don’t like where that is taking us. I told Mr. Kernen I would like to interview him and his wife in the cming weeks, to do a little history about them, their business, and their knowledge of other businesses in Madison. He once lived in my neighborhood, so I can do the stretch to include him in my neighborhood history blog at some point.
That reminds me, I need to get back to my research soon, and start printing out my information for the local library.