Something new is coming to Lawton’s west side — and it just might be a homeowner’s dream come true.
Westside Ace Hardware and Carpet One will host its grand opening this week, in celebration of nearly nine months of planning and executing a major renovation in the former Easton’s Ace Hardware.
The brainchild of business partners Ronnie Greenroyd, Mike Jung, Phil Kennedy and James Newton, the new store is the first of its kind, joining the dependability of Ace Hardware with the innovative services of flooring and home company, Carpet One.
“It isn’t a typical partnership with Ace and Carpet One, but it is an idea that we had developed a few years ago,” said Newton, while standing in the store’s new showroom last week. “We never had an Ace store that was large enough to drop a Carpet One into, but it makes perfectly good sense.”
Through Carpet One, the store will offer its customers a variety of flooring, cabinets, countertops and installation services, which Newton said takes Lawton to the next level when it comes to the type of one-stop-shopping that defines modern home building and renovation.
“It’s probably the best showroom currently in Southwest Oklahoma,” Newton said. “Hopefully it will benefit the community.”
Though the store is unique in terms of its size, its concept was inspired in part by Comanche Home Center. Owned by Kennedy, Comanche Home Center houses a fully-stocked lumberyard, an Ace Hardware and a Carpet One, though a smaller version than what the new Westside location offers.
All four men expressed excitement in expanding the concept and working with longtime business partners. The four partners, all from Lawton, have worked together for decades, some going back nearly 30 years in business relationships.
“Great friendships built strong business friendships to offer the community something that it doesn’t have,” Greenroyd said. “We’re that hometown store with the hometown commitment to offer everything we can.”
According to Newton, the partners had a clear vision for the store’s layout from the start, which moved the project forward smoothly. Starting in the spring, they brought in an Ace product reset team to move fixtures and hardware items — including every last nail and can of spray paint — to its new location.
“It looks easy because you’re in a large building,” Newton said of the rest process, “but it’s a lot of work.”
They carved out 4,000 square feet at the center of the store, where they later installed the Carpet One showroom. Not once did the store close during renovation.
“We appreciate everyone that has been so kind to us as we go through this process of transformation,” Kennedy said. “We’re excited to continue serving our current customer base and want to get to know new customers who come in and check us out.”
The store’s Carpet One showroom manager DeAnn Cox said she enjoys collaborating with customers on their home projects, putting her industry experience and contacts to work.
“The carpentry work, the plumbers — all these people are people we use in our own homes,” Cox said.
For store manager Ryan Hawkins, quality customer service is key to maintaining the legacy of the store’s former owner/operator, Kenneth Easton, who sold the store this year after 35 years of business.
“We still have people coming in, who’ve been coming to the Easton’s store for years,” Hawkins said. “Some customers are looking for a long list of supplies, others merely need one nut or bolt. And as simple as that is, we take them back there, we ask them what size they need, we put it in their hands.”
Since the renovations were completed in October, Newton said customers have expressed gratitude at the store’s location and seven-day-a-week availability.
“They now have the convenience of having something on the west side,” Newton said. “They can do 90 percent of what they need to do in one place.”
The Westside partners worked closely with Ace Hardware and Carpet One to make sure the new store’s layout and products were on par with the companies’ standards. Newton said Ace and Carpet One are pleased with the outcome and anxious for customer feedback.
“Both parties said it’s something they’re looking forward to,” Newton said. “Honestly, what we hope is that we can open more of these just like this.”