Hoping for local Ace Hardware

Partnership seeks input on wants and needs

Cameron Waddington, Staff Writer

A local partnership has acquired the old Shopko building and is planning to install an Ace Hardware, with a twist. Unlike your typical Ace Hardware that is solely focused on tools and equipment, this Ace Hardware will have a section left to the owner’s discretion.

After Shopko went bankrupt last summer, the Wayne building has been empty. “They’re trying to fill a niche between what people are going to Norfolk and Sioux City for and what they order on Amazon,” Wayne Mayor Cale Giese said.

Giese said he believed the Economic Development Office reached out to all major department stores and did not hear anything back from them. The struggle with any major department store is the close proximity to other major townships around Wayne. Most places declined the offer simply because Norfolk and Sioux City were too close. Places such as Target and Walmart didn’t see Wayne as profitable enough to warrant a location in the town. He said a local group has been interested in having Ace Hardware in Wayne.

“Ace Hardware was looking to put a store in Wayne for some time now,” Luke Virgil, executive director of the Wayne Area Economic Development, said. So local investors bought the Shopko building and another group of investors put money towards acquiring the Ace Hardware franchise. Talks to finalize the store are roughly 90 percent over with, Virgil Said.

Virgil emphasized the importance that the people’s wants and needs had in regard to products and prices at Ace Hardware.

The local partnership is holding some “town hall-esque meetings to determine what products to carry” Giese said. Both said they are unsure how input would be taken, but are adamant about input from the town of Wayne as well as from Wayne State College students.

No other major commercial projects are planned for the foreseeable future, according to Giese. “This is our main concern at the moment and anything else is only rumor,” Giese said.