It was a picture perfect morning for the grand re-opening of Dixon’s Home Hardware store on May 7.
Hundreds of customers lined up as doors officially opened that morning, and the crowds were still strong for the 11am ribbon cutting.
Paul Straus, chief executive officer of Home Hardware stores, considered it a privilege to be at the grand opening with the Dixon family.
Numerous members of that family were also on hand, along with staff, friends and company representatives, plus Walter Hachborn, founder of Home Hardware.
Straus said there was quite a turnout and even during the presentation, customers were still waiting to head inside.
Straus also offered best wishes to the Jim Dixon family and their staff for what they went through to make this happen.
That work included the removal of the old building and continuing work at the new location. Jim Dixon joked, “Keep ‘em moving. If they’re out here, they’re not in there buying,”
On a more serious note he said, “On behalf of the Dixon family, I’d like to say foremost – Home Hardware … we couldn’t have done this without them. They’re a great group of people. Everywhere … they were there to help us.”
He also thanked the customers. “You’ve just been great. You put up with working around a mess for six months, but I hope it’s proved to be worth it.”
Sheila Dixon quipped, “It would not be a gathering without me speaking. I just want to say, Jim’s wanted to do this for years, and years and years. I dragged my feet, and so did Jeff and Jason, ’cause we didn’t really think we needed it … all the extra hassle.”
“But finally, we jumped on board and here we are,” she said. “I’m so proud of Jim for pushing us into it and fulfilling his dream.”
Hachborn laughed and said he didn’t know he’d been expected to speak.
“It’s certainly great to be here … and congratulations to the Dixons. We’re proud of them and I hope you’re proud of them.”
Later, Jason Dixon felt the grand re-opening seemed overdue.
He explained the store opened earlier this year, but the opening was held off to make sure things were just right.
“We wanted to make sure the store was looking the way we wanted it.”
While he was glad to see the fulfilling of his dad’s dream, Jason admitted there were a few stressful days along the way.
“There were 300 people in the parking lot at 7:30 this morning when we opened the doors. That sort of told us it was worth it. People are definitely interested in the place.”
He estimated that along with the founder and CEO, there were roughly 18 others from head office at the event.
But, he added, he had spotted “a number of lumber yard owners that we’ve worked with over the years … that was nice.”
Jim Dixon added that it was a pretty good morning overall.
“We originally were next door and just outgrew the premises. We knew we had to grow and build a new building. We bit the bullet and worked with Home Hardware. They did the design and legwork. All we had to do was pay for it,” Dixon joked.
The new facility, he said, is just about 26,000 square feet, the previous store was 9,000 square feet.
Additional services now being offered include: Home Expressions, small appliances, kitchens, baths, an expanded building and lumber supply operation.
The hardware section has also grown as the store now offers equine products and pet food division.
“It’s working out well.”
Since the move, Dixon estimated sales are up about 80%.
“It was definitely the right move, and teaming up with Home Hardware was definitely the right move, for sure.”
He said there is “myself, Sheila, the two boys. And I couldn’t have done this without my good staff. They worked hours and hours to make this thing work. They were great.
“It all came to be today, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”