HAWORTH, New Jersey (WABC) -- Robert "Bob" Sconfienza, a proud Marine Corps veteran and owner of Haworth Hardware, has been serving the Haworth community since 1972.
However, the influence of big retail companies and the popularity of online shopping have changed the dynamics of many local stores like Sconfienza's, threatened by the level of competition posed by big-box stores.
Between 2017 and 2018, 700 local hardware stores closed in the United States, according to the North American Retail Hardware Association.
"At one time there were two stores in Dumont, New Jersey, there is one now. There were three in New Milford, New Jersey, there are none now," Sconfienza said "One by one, whether it's not having someone to take over or whether they just decided that they can't compete in today's environment. It's sad."
Despite the rapid pace in which hardware stores are closing, Haworth Hardware is one of the 19,000 stores that remains open in the United States.
"I would be very disappointed to see places like this go away and lose out to the competition of the big stores," said customer Benjamin Finer.
Sconfienza understands the great challenges of having to compete with big retail stores, but refuses to give up on his clients and store which he purchased from his father, Fred Sconfienza, who established the family business in 1957.
"Every store is affected the way they want to be affected by these big stores," Sconfienza said. "If you just give up and say they're going to put everyone out of business, you lost before you even start."
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New Jersey veteran, hardware store owner vows to keep family business open in Haworth