Richburg’s Hardware supply closing after 84 years of operation

The ‘one stop shop’ brought thousands to downtown Gulfport over the years.
The ‘one-stop shop’ brought thousands to downtown Gulfport over the years.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:04 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s the ending of a long-time hardware store that sits on the corner of 25th Avenue.

The Richburgs bid farewell to the community as they prepare to shut down business after eight decades.

‘Everything Must Go’, ‘Sale Cash Only’, ‘Store Closing Soon’.

After 84 years of operation, Richburg’s Hardware Supply store is closing its doors.

“You’ll be surprised how many people come to this place when they find out we’re here,” said Betty Richburg.

Larry and Betty Richburg sit back, watching what was once a popular staple in Gulfport sell what’s left of the shop.

The journey started when Richburg’s father moved from Florida to Gulfport in 1939. He opened up a grocery store, restaurant, fish mart, and the famously known tool store, Richburg’s Hardware Supply.

“In 1972, my father retired and I took over the business. It’s bittersweet memories that we have. My parents used to live in the back of the store in a different house,” said Larry Richburg.

Thousands depended on the Richburgs for hammers, extension cords, saws, nails, and more. It was a ‘one-stop shop’ for all home repair and construction needs.

Business soared.

“It’s sort of sad in the reason that many of the small businessmen stores are closing is competition in the price,” said Richburg.

The owners faced a growing demand for merchandise and cost, placing the hardware store in a tough place financially.

Larry and Betty were met with other challenges. In 2017, a fire nearly wiped out the future of the store, but they built back stronger.

Heavy storms created a battered ceiling. Water would pour into the shop leading to more infrastructure concerns.

“The damages that are interred by it we have a tendency to repair and not fix it like it should be,” said Richburg.

But even through the rough patches, the Richburgs are grateful to grow with Gulfport. They’ve seen many in the community walk through their doors.

“We don’t like to go away. We’ve been in this business for years, our children have been here for children. We’re all blessed by the Lord and all the people who come and share with us here,” said Richburg.

Three generations of Richburg’s. Now, Larry’s son, Adam, is running the business until the last day.

Until then, the pair plans to continue visiting the shop and talking with customers who visit often.

“We have been so blessed to be here,” said Richburg.

A final day of business has not yet been announced.

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