Page 13: Old school hardware store

Page 13: Old school hardware store

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Old fashioned small businesses are disappearing in a world dominated by big box stores.

Richburg's Hardware has called 2714 25th Ave. in Gulfport home for 78 years. Howard Richburg opened the store in 1939, and his son Larry is keeping a family tradition alive.

There was a time when hardware stores were everywhere. It was a neighborhood thing and still is at Richburg's.

"He said my grandfather traded here and my father traded here. My kids are getting old enough to start needing this stuff. That will be four generations doing business with us," said Richburg.

Old neighborhood hardware stores are disappearing right and left in a Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart world. Larry says he has something that makes his store unique: history and nostalgia.

"People walk in here and say 'I like the smell of this store.' I wonder what they mean; I guess I'm just adapted to it. They say it has an old musty smell to it that hardware stores should have. If a stranger walks in, he'll say the same darn thing, 'I like the smell.' It brings me back," he said.

The business will probably end with Larry Richburg. The next generation isn't interested in taking over a business that appears to be lost in time.

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