Warrenton will again have a hardware store. The owner of two other ACE Hardware stores has purchased the former Wheeler True Value.
“On behalf of city council, I am excited that the Grovetown Ace Hardware plans to expand their footprint to Warrenton. I know this announcement and opening will be welcome news for the citizens and businesses in our community and the surrounding area,” said Warrenton Mayor Chris McCorkle.
The store was closed Feb. 8 2020, by then owners, Sherer Family Hardware Inc. It is now owned by Mike Hubert, who also owns the Grovetown Ace Hardware and the Augusta Ace Hardware. Vanessa Barnes manages the Grovetown location and will take charge of the new Warrenton location.
“Warrenton will probably be my main focus for at least a year,” Barnes said. “At least for a year, I will probably be at that store every single day,” she said.
She said the store will open sometime between mid July and early August. Barnes said COVID-related inventory challenges in the industry have delayed the opening. But, the new hardware store is already hiring.
“I’ve actually hired two already,” she said. “I’ve been doing interviews here at the Grovetown store. We will train people here at the Grovetown store to take with us.”
Barnes said she anticipates the Warrenton store will need about 15 employees, but said that number could fluctuate.
“We are open seven days a week and I’m thinking we’re going to keep the same hours that we do at our Augusta and our Grovetown store as far as I know,” she said.
The hours for the other two stores owned by Hubert are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We’re just excited to get out there and get to know the community. We do a lot of outreach projects,” she said.
Several weeks ago at a chamber of commerce dinner, it was mentioned that someone might be coming to the old hardware building but the deal was not yet finalized.
“One of our main priorities is to assist our local companies so that they can continue to achieve success,” said O.B. McCorkle, development authority executive director. “We look forward to working with the new owners of Ace Hardware and are grateful they decided to expand to Warrenton.”
In recent years the store operated as Wheeler Ace Hardware and then as an independent store until the then owner, Sherer Family Hardware Inc., closed the doors soon after filed for bankruptcy. Prior to being acquired by Sherer Family Hardware Inc., in 2017, the Wheeler family owned the store for 84 years.
Hal Wheeler said his grandfather, Henry C. Wheeler Sr., opened the store in 1935. Al Wheeler, Hal Wheeler’s brother, came into the family business in the early 1970s. Their sister, the late Becky Wheeler, was also part owner, and had joined the family business sometime in the late 1970s. Hal Wheeler joined his siblings in the store in 1986.