news 4 days ago

Local hardware stores supplying essentials

Beaver County Times, Pa. — Scott Tady Beaver County Times, Pa.

March 26-- Mar. 26--Some Beaver County hardware stores are reminding residents their businesses are open as essential during the coronavirus shutdown.

Ambridge Do It Best Home Center owners Frank and David Strano took to social media Thursday to discuss how they're handling the situation.

First off, the store is adhering to the recommended 6-foot buffer of social distancing between people.

"For example, on our registers, we have divider lines showing 6 feet from each other," David said.

Workers use Lysol wipes and other top disinfectants to clean surfaces "morning, noon and night. We've even stayed open later to keep our employees here to actually clean our stations, our counters, our credit card machines, anything we can think of. We're taking an extra effort to keep as clean as possible," he said.

Saying this is "the biggest issue we've ever dealt with," Ambridge Do It Best has been ordering often from its warehouse and outside vendors, even finding success in stocking the much-coveted toilet paper and Clorox wipes, Frank said.

"We've been getting trucks in daily, and there are days we run out of product. And there are days we get product in," David said. "So it's give-and-take what we have here. But we have been keeping the essentials in stock."

It's a similar scenario at Alam's Home and Hardware in Aliquippa.

"The hot items are obviously hard to keep in stock," owner Tony Alam said. "We have normal hardware supplies arriving every week, and there is no shortage. We have reached out to our suppliers to get the hot items as soon as we can, when we can. It has been a cooperative effort among our suppliers."

He said the hot items are disinfectants, cleaning supplies, gloves and paper products.

"Most people are looking for plumbing, electrical, hot-water tanks, toilets ...," Alam said. "Home needs that need immediate attention. They are also looking for Bactronix, the newest and most effective disinfectant that is being sold today."

Alam's advice for customers: "We ask for your patience. Our staff is working very hard to fill your in-person orders and your phone orders."

Alam's has put into place practices to keep customers and staff safe.

"No one may enter our store, but we have staff members taking orders at the front door," Alam said. "It is quite the process, but it is our mission to do what we can do to thwart this crisis and still provide a service to the public."

Ambridge Do It Best also offers curbside pickup, recommending that when people phone the store, they ask for a manager.

Fischer Hardware in Beaver is physically closed to customers, though its answering machine suggests that people in need of a product leave a message.

"If you need something, we will try to accommodate you," the message said. "But the store is physically closed to customers."

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