Longtime Rosemount store takes on new identity
For the last several years Pete Terry has found himself at a crossroads. Follow the Ace brand down its path or go his own way.
While it was costly in both dollars and time, Terry has decided to drop the Ace franchise for his two hardware stores. Over the last several months customers in Rosemount and Hastings have likely noticed as the business has transformed into Terry's Hardware.
"(Ace's) business model and mine diverged," Terry said in explaining the split.
The two stores will continue to offer a wide range of hardware products. To go along with it, Terry said he has a knowledgeable staff to help.
"What we do and how we do it hasn't changed," said Terry of his two stores.
Terry said by going on their own the two stores can continue to be a high performance retailer driven by customer demands. The change also allows Terry more control over marketing, which he did not have under the Ace name.
"Just being able to talk to our customers is a big thing," said Terry.
When they first started making the cosmetic changes, Terry said people were worried the stores were closing. But since some of the changes have been made, he said the reaction from the public has been good.
Terry said they have completed most of the modifications he has planned, but an unusually busy spring has slowed down some of the remodeling. He anticipates the work will be complete sometime this spring.
Being too busy is a good problem to have, and Terry feels like the change will ensure his two stores are competitive going into the future.
"This way the stores can be what the communities need them to be," he said.
The Terry family has owned hardware stores for 34 years come this summer. After leaving the volatile computer business, Chuck Terry, Pete's father, opened a Coast to Cost in what is now an Olympus 24 fitness club in Rosemount. When Coast to Coast went bankrupt, the Terry's bought into the Ace franchise. They bought the Hastings store a decade later.
While he did so reluctantly, the Hastings store is where Pete got his start after getting an accounting degree from Mankato State. He swore he would never work in the hardware store business, but 20-odd years later he's glad he did.
"I can't imagine doing anything else," said Terry.
While it's been a lot of work, Terry said he feels like the investment and time will ensure that he can retire as the owner of Terry's Hardware.
"It was an investment in the next 25 years. It's set the stage for us to be able to grow and continue."
Check out Terry's Hardware online at www.terryshardware.com. The Rosemount store is located at 14635 Robert Trail and the Hastings store is at 375 W. 33rd St.