Ruskell Hardware closes up shop - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Ruskell Hardware closes up shop

CHATFIELD, Minn. (KTTC) -- Two small communities will be losing their locally owned hardware stores at the end of the month. The sudden news left many people asking, why?

Chris Ruskell, Owner of Ruskell Hardware in Austin and Chatfield, confirmed both stores will close this month, but declined to comment as to why.

Running up to main street in Chatfield - last minute - for a light bulb, gardening supplies or even tool kit will soon be a thing of the past. Some Chatfield residents say the store's closing is about more than just another empty store front.

"There is a hole in our community. There are certain things the hardware store offered that they probably won't be able to get in town for a period of time anyway," said Ron Zeigler, with Chatfield's Economic Development.

"Obviously the money won't be local and economic conditions aren't the best right now anyway. So, if you have to spend more money on gas to get to Rochester, that will increase the price on whatever you're going to buy," said Chatfield resident, Mike Elder.

Chatfield's Vice Mayor, felt Ruskell may be closing due to the struggling economy. He is worried how the closure will affect other businesses.

"If you come to the hardware store maybe you make other stops along main street. As soon as you make it that you don't have to stop on main street, outside of coming to a restaurant, it will affect other businesses too, there is no doubt," stated Paul Novotny.

April 24 is the last day the hardware store will be open in Chatfield and the 30th in Austin.

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