Best Local Store Owner - Best of Lawrence: 2014 - Community

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Best Local Store Owner

Tom and Linda Cottin of Cottin’s Hardware & Rental

1832 Massachusetts St.

There’s been a lot new at Cottin’s Hardware & Rental in the last year.

The hardware store wiped away 50 years' worth of store fixtures and other furnishings as part of a major remodeling project last summer. But what hasn’t changed is that the store’s owners are still around to guide customers to just the right part needed to complete that home improvement project.

“Sometimes we even get questions that aren’t hardware-related,” said co-owner Linda Cottin.

And sometimes they even answer them. That might be one reason why Tom and Linda Cottin have been voted winners in the Best of Lawrence Local Store Owner category.

“The community and the people are what we like best about this job,” Linda said. “If it wasn’t for the support from the community, we wouldn’t be here.”

The Cottins have owned the business for 22 years, but the building has served as a hardware store since the 1950s. Some of the fixtures in the store still dated back to that time, until Tom and Linda decided they needed to make a change.

“As a local retailer you have to be willing to change and take risks,” Linda said. “You can’t hold anything too close.”

So the store underwent a major remodeling and also a reordering of its merchandise. The more modern fixtures and layout have allowed the business to increase its inventory by about 50 percent, Linda said.