It is still happening at an alarming rate. The latest two in our area are McComb Lumber in McComb Ohio and T&M Supply in Stryker Ohio.
The Stryker one isn't on this map yet, but it has closed. Jim Haddox owner of McComb Lumber is a good friend of mine from back in the Ohio Lumbermen's Association days.
It's really sad for me to see this. I think the hand writing is on the wall for all of us independent lumber dealers. The old fashion yards without the large retail stores seem to be going first in our area, but I think the time is coming when even that walk in retail trade won't help much. It really bothers me when someone comes in for a chalk line and staples for their roofing felt, when I know they went to a big box for everything else. I guess the thing that irritates me the most is those same people come in and want donations for their kids baseball team, or post prom party.
I had a customer ask why I was not open Sundays anymore. The answer I wanted to give them was that twenty years ago, there were no big boxes between Fort Wayne and Toledo. People from the surrounding towns would shop here on the weekend. Now with four big boxes within 30 minutes of me, the surrounding town and many Edgerton people go to them. I can't afford to stay open five hours on a Sunday and sell only two or three hundred dollars worth of goods. The answer I told the guy is that I decided to have a life. After working 72 hours a week for twenty years, now that I'm working only 60 it seems like I'm semi-retired.
I still love my job and wouldn't want to do anything else. And even though I may not sound like it, I appreciate and treasure every customer I have.
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