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Local Fixture Set to Become a Memory

Posted: January 29, 2008 1:49 a.m.
Updated: March 31, 2008 2:01 a.m.

Laura Wambsgans of Valencia peers into the closed Newhall Hardware store on Monday. The store is closed to prepare for its liquidation sale and will reopen today at 10 a.m. It will stay open until the liquidation is complete.

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Newhall Hardware is closing its doors due to economic hardships after operating for more than 60 years in the heart of downtown Newhall.

Located on Main Street (formerly San Fernando Road), the store was considered by many to be a Newhall landmark, an old-fashioned store where one could always find a familiar face.
The store was closed Monday to prepare for the liquidation sale and store owners declined to comment. They had, however, posted on the store window a letter to their customers.
"I would personally like to thank all of our friends and customers who have supported us all these years," the letter read. "Many of you are more than customers, you have been become our friends. Due to economic conditions Newhall Hardware, Santa Clarita's landmark hardware store, is no longer able to do business ... Thank you for 60 years of great memories."
Store owner Victor Feany started working at Newhall Hardware in the 1970s and in 1998, he bought the store from original owner Don Guglielmino of Glendale.
Twenty-eight-year Newhall resident Sheila Zacha appeared to be on the verge of tears as she read the closure signs on the store's windows Monday afternoon.
"I'm extremely disappointed," she said. "I don't come here often, but I come here for things that are hard to find. I can come down here looking for what I want and they probably have it."
As she assisted the store managers in preparing for their liquidation sale, Suzie Szabo, manager of the Old Town Newhall Association, said the store went out of business due to a number of factors including the economy, competition with larger chain stores, a decrease in traffic flow along Main Street and a lack of parking.
"We're hoping that the city will see that this is an obvious treasure of the community," she said. "We're devastated over this. The whole community is."
The change in the traffic pattern in downtown Newhall is part of the city's plan to revitalize the area, making downtown Newhall more arts-friendly and pedestrian-oriented. But not everybody has been in favor of the change.
"(The city) cut the flow of traffic to the merchants down here," Szabo said. "You take away people's view of what's down here."
Chris Price, assistant city engineer, would not comment on how the change in traffic pattern may have affected Newhall Hardware's business.
Newhall Hardware's economic hardships are likely due to a combination of factors, said Jason Crawford, Santa Clarita's Economic Development Manager.
"Right now it's a hard time in the economy," he said. "For Newhall Hardware, a lot of their business is generated from the film industry. With those guys being on strike, that has definitely affected them."
He also said hardware stores, furniture stores and other home improvement type stores have been hit hard by the sluggish housing market.
Newhall Hardware's liquidation sale begins today at 10 a.m. The store will be open at 10 a.m. every day until the end of liquidation.


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