This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shopping at Kem's

Last week I needed a couple of hardware items, so I took a shopping trip to Kem's Hardware in the College Square Mall.
Kem's occupies the space that was once occupied by Schultz's, then Ames, then Pamida. Schultz's Department store went out of business, Ames decided to abandon this part of the country (but still went out of business), and Pamida, which specializes in towns smaller than Rensselaer, closed when Wal-Mart opened. There may have been a clothing store in the space after Pamida and before Kem's.

The entryway into Kem's has merchandise in it. They use all the space.
The store is very large, and not at all cramped.
Kem's carries just about everything you would expect a hardware to carry. The other large hardware store in Rensselaer, Smith's True Value, emphasizes farm stuff, which Kem's does not carry. Kem's also competes with a number of specialty hardware stores, such as Fastenal (fasteners), Kirby Risk (electrical), Four-County supply (plumbing), and Woods Brothers Seed and Lumber (lumber). Wal-Mart, Superior Sales, and the auto-supply stores also c0mpete with Kem's in some product lines. How many people get really excited about going to the hardware store? I know some women who love to shop for shoes and clothes, but who gets a high from shopping for toilets?
My goal for the day was to buy some really long screws, and I figured the Kem's would have what I wanted. They have a whole aisle with a huge variety of screws--metal screws, wood screws, short screws, long screws, fat screws and thin screws.
In the back they have building supplies, things such as lumber and shingles.
However, there are hardware items that you cannot buy in Rensselaer. When I put the metal roof on my shed, I could not find what I needed in Rensselaer, but one of the businesses referred me to the lumber yard in Monon and they delivered.

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