Pleasants Hardware has opened its first new store since the chain was sold to a Virginia Beach-based retailer nearly four years ago.
The company quietly opened its eighth area location in early January in the Hanover Commons Shopping Center off Chamberlayne Road. A grand opening will take place March 7.
The 10,000-square-foot store had been a Rite Aid pharmacy, which closed in the first half of last year.
"We have been looking for years, particularly in the Hanover market," said Darrell Campbell, the general manager overseeing all the Pleasants Hardware stores in the Richmond region.
"We just hadn't found the right piece of real estate," he said.
He kept an eye out for the Rite Aid in that shopping center. With consolidation taking place in the drug store industry, he thought that store might eventually close.
"I would drive by there once every month or two looking to see if the building was empty," he said. "When I saw it was empty in early July, I took pictures and sent it to [executives at Taylor’s Do It Centers, which owns Pleasants] and said this is where we want to be."
A lease was signed and Pleasants got into the building in November. Employees spent the last two months getting the new store ready.
The size and location fits the Pleasants model perfectly, Campbell said.
The smallest Pleasants location is about 8,800 square feet while the largest is about 13,000 square feet.
"This is a solid footprint at 10,000 square feet for an independent hardware store," he said. "We can stock in this store comfortably what we want to get in a store."
The store also is far enough away from Home Depot and Lowe's locations, he said. Both major chains have stores off Mechanicsville Turnpike in eastern Hanover. Home Depot has a store in the NorthCross Center off Interstate 95 in Hanover while Lowe's has a location off Brook Road in Henrico.
"This was an ideal location to be in between the two majors," he said.
Opening the store is a milestone, he said, since it is the first one under the new owners.
In February 2016, Virginia Beach-based Taylor’s Do It Centers bought the seven Richmond-area Pleasants Hardware stores from C.F. Sauer Co., the Richmond-based global food manufacturer that had owned Pleasants since 1989.
"Taylor has put a lot of energy and new merchandise into the business," Campbell said. "This has given us a resurgence."