WAKE FOREST, N.C. — The owners of a family-run hardware store in Wake Forest claim competition and the Department of Transportation is putting the final nail in the store.
Margaret Jones-Stinnett is the fourth generation of Joneses to run Jones Hardware, and she has no doubt made her family proud, but the door is about to close for good.
"It's just hard to make a living. The small guy just has a tough time making a living now," she said.
"I had a feeling it might happen. I hate to see that it actually did," customer Shelley McCain said.
Customers said the store feels like home, but now there is another home right outside. Home Depot has cut its competitor's business in half.
Home Depot has had a major impact on Jones Hardware, but Jones Hardware said there was another pivotal roadblock. Two years ago, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) put in the median, which means drivers can no longer turn left directly into Jones Hardware. Now, they must make a U-turn or choose another option.
"There are other areas in town that have just as much traffic and have the same sort of traffic pattern that still have their left-hand turn," Jones-Stinnett said.
DOT officials said the median is necessary to control the safe flow of traffic.
"I hate to see anybody close that's been in busineses for a long time. Is it related to the island? I guess I would argue that," DOT division engineer Jon Nance said.
Jones Hardware will close June 30. The building will be torn down to make room for a new Walgreens.