By HARLEY RICHARDS
Advocate business editor
More than 50 years of retail history will come to an end this month when the cash registers at Blackfalds Ace Hardware fall silent.
The 4910 Broadway Ave. business is selling off its inventory in preparation for a July 31 closure.
“We have a liquidation going on right now,” said Ed Stol, who owns the store with his wife Cora.
The demise of Ace Hardware, which is Blackfalds’ only hardware store, is a blow to local do-it-yourselfers. But it’s also tough for Stol.
“It’s been in the family since ‘64,” he said, recalling how his father Len bought the then lumber yard 48 years ago.
Stol took over in 1983.
Five years ago, much of the store’s lumber and building supplies were moved to Penhold Building Supplies, which Stol is also an owner of. At that time, the limited space in the Blackfalds’ store was cited as the reason for that change.
The decision to close Ace Hardware was motivated by personal reasons, and followed attempts to sell the business, said Stol.
“We tried for a couple of years, and nothing happened.”
Stol said the biggest change during his years in the hardware business has been the advent of big building centres, which has made the industry more competitive.
Penhold Building Supplies will continue to operate, confirmed Stol. He and Cora will also continue to reside at Blackfalds.