Fernie’s Home Hardware has been through a few changes over the years. Originally Beaver Lumber, the store moved from its original location to East Fernie’s industrial area in 1995, and in 2000 became a Home Hardware Building Centre. Today, a new change is in the works, as the centre prepares to expand into a new and larger store.
“We’ve been trying to put together the expansion of the store for the last four years,” said Manager, Walter Ingram. “Due to some highway situations and city situations, we finally have got all the obstacles behind us and were able to get a building permit last week and get started on building a new store.”
The new space will be located beside Home Hardware’s current location, and the existing building will be converted into a warehouse. Ingram commented, “The retail space will be twice the existing building, approximately 2,000 square feet. We’ll have all the pots and pans, small appliances, kitchen cabinets, flooring, windows and door displays, and house wares.”
Ingram has a long history in the industry, starting as a student employee at Beaver Lumber back in 1971, before going on to buy his own store in Saskatchewan ten years later. After the company asked him to consider relocating to Fernie, Ingram and his family came to Fernie in 1987. “We liked what we saw so we sold the business in Saskatchewan and moved here and made Fernie our home,” he remarked.
The expansion is four years in the works and Ingram believes it’s an addition to the community that Fernie residents will appreciate. “Certainly since the Home Hardware closed downtown it’s been missed. Since they closed, and since BRT closed, that’s of course put quite a bit of pressure on the town in the availability of getting some product, and hopefully we’ll be able to fill some of those holes,” said Ingram. “We look forward to bringing not really a new business, but a larger business to Fernie, and presenting the people here with a better shopping experience, so hopefully they won’t have to go other places to get what they need.”
Ingram runs the store with his wife Heather, who commented, “Our son is in the business with us now, which makes it even nicer. That’s our goal in building the new store is that we’ll retire and he’ll carry on.”
The brand new store is set to open in the summer of 2013.