ARCHIVED  August 1, 1997

Art Hardware shuts its doors

The now-vacant Art Hardware in Fort Collins will not reopen its doors any time soon.The art-supply and framing shop had been weaning itself of its 420 S. College Ave. location for the past two months. Performance Bike Shop now resides in half of the space, while the remainder is still up for lease.
The other Art Hardware stores – in Boulder and Colorado Springs – and an inventory warehouse in Denver will continue with business as usual.
Since 1978, owner Tony Lefton said, the Fort Collins store had been successful as one of the few art suppliers in the Choice City. Competitors include Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and the Colorado State University bookstore. Recently, however, the Fort Collins store has accounted for less than 7 percent of Art Hardware’s overall sales, he said.
“The Boulder and Denver stores do five times that,” Lefton said. “We were surprised that we were just breaking even [in Fort Collins].”
Lefton blamed the closure on poor sales, lack of accessibility and parking, and management.
“We closed for the same reason that any company does – poor management,” he said.
The store, which sat on the west corner of the Safeway shopping center on East Mulberry Street, had no direct parking. That affected the accessibility of the store as well.”We could have gone on breaking even forever, but it just wasn’t worth it,” Lefton said. “I think this closure will loosen up our manpower to make our other stores more profitable.”

The now-vacant Art Hardware in Fort Collins will not reopen its doors any time soon.The art-supply and framing shop had been weaning itself of its 420 S. College Ave. location for the past two months. Performance Bike Shop now resides in half of the space, while the remainder is still up for lease.
The other Art Hardware stores – in Boulder and Colorado Springs – and an inventory warehouse in Denver will continue with business as usual.
Since 1978, owner Tony Lefton said, the Fort Collins store had been successful as one of the few art suppliers in the Choice…

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