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Carterton store closes after 60 years

By Amie Hickland

Carterton Hardware closed its doors for the final time yesterday, after more than 60 years in the town.

Masterton poultry farmer Ivor Allen opened the store in 1951 after he started doing some trading of his own, according to managing director Alan Stewart.

The business grew from there and included a team of plumbers.

After his death many years ago, the business, previously known as Wairarapa Plumbers and Hammer Hardware, continued to be run by managers and staff under an estate.

Mr Stewart said the business ran into difficulty finding qualified plumbers, and eventually that part of the business became unprofitable.

The plumbing section closed about five years ago, although the retail section remained open.

Mr Stewart said it has been hard to make a profit and so the final decision to close the doors was agreed on by the family.

He said the closure was not a shock to the staff and one person had already found other employment.

"It wasn't unexpected when they were told it was closing," he said.

"The family have been happy to keep it going to support the staff and the community, but there's a limit to how far you can keep going."

He said it was hard to make a profit out of a business that size in Carterton.

"I think many of our customers are very upset," Mr Steward said.

"It's been here for many years. It's certainly iconic."

Other parts of the business, such as the septic tank cleaning sector and key cutting machine, have also been sold.

Mr Stewart said there has been interest in buying the building but nothing is confirmed.


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