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Family owned hardware store sticks to roots, takes pride in service

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Germantown Hardware and Paint has been open for less than two decades but the store’s owners continue to take a long-established approach to business by concentrating on top of the line products and hands-on customer service.

“We focus on having everything that a true hardware store should have,” said owner Justin Wagner, “and more.”

The Wagner family opened Germantown Hardware in 2001 at 2083 S. Germantown Road. Justin’s father, John, already owned the 13,000-square-foot building, which was previously an Ace Hardware and located next door to the family’s car wash.

“It was about to go belly-up,” Justin said of the former tenant. “We knew Germantown needed a hardware store. They weren’t doing a very good job. So, people were going elsewhere.”

With the help of Orgill Brothers & Company, Memphis’ oldest hardware distributor, the Wagners stepped in and decide to create their own store.

“Orgill is our main hardware distributor and they helped us design the store,” Justin said.

Germantown Hardware soon began offering top shelf items that are not available at many larger hardware stores.

“What separates us from Lowe’s and Home Depot is service and the products we offer,” said Justin, a lifelong Germantown resident who attended Dogwood Elementary and Houston High before studying business at Rhodes College and the University of Memphis.

Some of these products include Benjamin Moore Paints, Stihl Power Equipment, Big Green Eggs, the full line of Weber Grills and Honda Power Equipment.

“That’s what drives people here,” Justin added. “If they want any of these products they have to come here.”

Service is also an emphasis at the 17-year-old business.

“You’re not going to walk in our store and have trouble finding employees,” Wagner said of his staff, which is comprised of 25 full and part-time employees. “We’re always there to help customers if they need it.”

Many of the workers are retirees who live in the community and have a knack for completing home repairs.

“Most of these guys know how to keep up a house,” said Wagner.

Customers frequently bring in everything from torn screened windows to broken chairs for repairs.

“We do lots of basic handyman stuff,” Wagner said.

Germantown Hardware also specializes in small engine repairs and will even mend lamps, storm windows and more. Items are often fixed in a week or less.

The business also features a full paint store and live plants.

The Wagners plan to celebrate the store’s anniversary on April 20 and 21 with a large sale that will feature specials on plants and 10 items at “rock bottom” prices.”