New AIH site open

Grand opening planned for May

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2002

Hardware enthusiasts on the peninsula now have 28,000 square feet of nuts, bolts and a lot more to choose from, thanks to the opening of Alaska Industrial Hardware's new Kenai store.

The store, located on Bridge Access Road, has been open for business since March 11, but is still working on stocking a full line of products, according to store manager Randy Pack.

"We've still got a lot of work to do," Pack said.

AIH has been working hard to get the store up and running, due to some minor delays in the construction process. According to AIH general manager Mike Kangas, the store was originally slated to open last month. However, the winter construction season hampered efforts slightly.

"Early snow, and lots of it," was the reason for the delay, said Kangas. "When you take on a winter project, you have to expect that sort of thing. The contractor was removing snow when they could have been putting on a roof," he said.

All that hard work will culminate May 4, when the store fully opens with a grand opening celebration, said Kangas Wednesday from Anchorage. And when it does, he said, consumers should be ready.

"We'll have all kinds of deals. Literally thousands of items will be on sale below cost. The grand opening will be going on all day, but some of the deals will be limited to first come, first served," he said.

The previous Kenai AIH, located on Willow Street, was a mere 6,440 square feet, which limited the scope of items the store could stock. Kangas said in addition to being able to carry more products, one benefit of having a larger store is a more diverse customer base.

"We've already seen sales increase. We're getting retail sales now, and I anticipate that to build," he said.

He hopes even more people will be enticed to check out the store when the grand opening celebration is held in May.

"We'll have a barbecue, serve hot dogs, burgers, chips and soda for anyone who wants to stop by," Kangas said.

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