The sign states Midtown Hardware, yet to owner David “DJ” Day, it’s a 6,000-square-foot solution center that also sells nuts and bolts. “Every customer comes in with a problem they need solved,” he says.
Day bought the 42-year-old store in March from Jeff Marquis. A native of Wichita, Day was visiting the area from the East Coast where he has lived for about 20 years. Living in Boston, he had fallen in love with the hardware store where he was working, but knew it was “providence” when he heard the store was for sale.
“A hardware store is only as good as its staff,” Day says, proudly toting the gifts, talents and know-how of his eight-person team.
Day has made some physical changes to the store — bringing in more natural light with windows, lowering the aisle shelving heights and adding more inventory, particularly in the lawn and garden area. He says all of this helps with the customer experience, including adding music to the store’s atmosphere. After all, Day spent years working at a record store where if he played a record, it would sell.
He hopes by having streamlined displays and more ambiance, the customer will purchase and return for another shopping experience.
Small stores, however, need a niche.
“Service is a real way forward with retail,” Day says. “We’re always happy to help because it genuinely gives us satisfaction to assist our customers.”
His staff can fix screens, sharpen tools, thread pipe and offer knowledgeable advice. Midtown Hardware is the new home for Doug Rucker’s lamp repair business, which had previously been housed at Brookside’s Best Hardware.
Day wants to help the large contingency of young people moving into the area, he says, and continue to get to know the community that is supporting one of the last remaining independent hardware stores in Tulsa.
4311 E. 31st St. | 918-743-3344
8 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday