Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

February 19, 2011 11:55 AM

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware

4500 Wisconsin Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20016
[20 locations in the greater DC area]
This piece about the Tenleytown Ace Hardware does not signal that WW is now going to regularly review hardware stores. However, this hardware store has become a regular stop when I am in the market for a variety of items. Although, whenever I am unable to find the particular item for which I went to the store, it is inevitable that I will buy something that I really don’t need, but can find useful.

The store does not have the wide aisles of modern retail establishments. Every inch of shelf space is stuffed with something.

The thing that makes this store the most attractive is the people who work there. They are everywhere and they all seem to know everything. Ask any one of them a question about where something might be found, and they have an answer. The range is extraordinary.

On a recent visit I saw something that I have never seen before in any store. At the entrance stood one of the store employees, asking folks what they were looking for and directing them. Then as they moved away from him he would use an internal store communication device to quietly call ahead to one of his colleagues, describing the person by size or clothing, etc., and suggesting where the person was heading. That is special.

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