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Staff photo by Aaron Dome
Toni Geller, left, of Barstow, helps Jean Bredelis with her purchase at Anderson's True Value Hardware at 2420 West Main Street on Friday afternoon. Anderson's is closing it's Barstow location after two years.

Barstow True Value Hardware to close

BARSTOW • One of Barstow’s last independent hardware stores is going out of business.

“I hear ‘we are shocked,’ from everyone who comes in here,” said store manager Jeff Carlson. “But if all the people who say they are shocked actually came in here we wouldn’t be closing.”

Anderson’s True Value Hardware is holding a going out of business sale and will be closed for good in four to six weeks, depending on how fast the remaining merchandise sells.

“We had a good clientele, but the numbers just didn’t add up,” said Carlson. “It’s the economy, a lack of participation by the community.”

The opening of a Home Depot home improvement center in Barstow on L Street two years ago didn’t help matters, either.

Carlson said that when Anderson’s True Value opened at 2420 West Main Street two years ago the store had 18 employees. Six now work at the store. While Carlson will manage the Hesperia location of Anderson’s True Value after the Barstow store closes, the other employees will be out of work.

No positions will be available at other stores, Carlson said, and the drive would be too far anyway.

“It’s really hard,” said Anderson’s cashier Toni Geller. “I want to cry, but I can’t today.”

Geller said that the cool spring didn’t help the store. Customers who purchase evaporative cooler parts didn’t come in until recently, when it was too little and too late to save the store.

“We feel for the people who are out of jobs,” said Barstow resident Tina Eason, who was shopping at True Value on Friday. “We would buy anything to fix the house (here), plants, garden things. I shop here for a friend who lives in Baker.”

Eason said that the closing of the store didn’t surprise her, given the competition that Home Depot  gave the store.

Barstow resident John Sponsler was walking down the aisles on Anderson’s looking for bargains on Friday afternoon. He said that he bought plumbing parts and rented equipment at Anderson’s but that he has been shopping at Anderson’s less in recent years.

“Once Home Depot opened I shopped here second,” said Barstow resident John Sponsler. “It’s too bad, I hate to see it go. It seems to be the way of the world.”

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