Owner: True Value in Arlington Heights closing

The mom-and-pop-owned True Value hardware store in Arlington Heights will close by the end of the year and consolidate its operations with a sister store in Palatine.

The underperforming location at 1215 E. Rand Road is one more brick-and-mortar business that's fallen victim, at least in part, to online shopping, its owner says.

"I don't think big boxes are the problem now," True Value franchisee Stacy Gale said of competition with the larger Lowe's and Home Depot home improvement stores. "It's that people don't want to shop (in person). They want to shop from their phones."

"This digital world, I think, is impacting brick-and-mortar retailers more than anything."

Gale added that there are also natural barriers to the store location on Rand Road that made business difficult.

She and her husband, Tim, opened the 13,000-square-foot Arlington Heights store in 2011, relocating from their Algonquin location. But with the business struggling, they worked with the landlord to get out of their lease early.

Gale said a new, still-unannounced retailer will fill the hardware store's space in the strip mall, which is shared with an AutoZone and Goodwill.

A liquidation sale started last week at True Value. A final closing date depends on how quickly the remaining inventory goes.

Then the Gales say they'll focus on growing the business at their remaining store, 790 E. Euclid Ave. in Palatine. That includes plans to ramp up "engagement marketing," with in-store events to get to know customers.

"I still believe in talking to people and providing personal service, as opposed to hiding behind a screen," Gale said.

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