Owner Tom Sato and his team at Wilton Hardware spent a month and a half packing up from their old home in Wilton Center and moving the store into the new Sharp Hill Square development at 200 Danbury Rd.
GOOD Morning Wilton was invited to get a first look at what the store is like. We recently took our video cameras and visited the new location and were able to see just how much more space, selection and organization the new store boasts.
Sato believes that the way the store is laid out will offer a better shopping experience.
“When customers come into the new store, I think they’re going to be really impressed with the openness, the feel of how it’s laid out. It’s going to have a nice open, airy feeling when you first walk in. The shelving is laid out and the signage of each aisle is much better done than what we used to have. It’s right on the end cap, so it’s easy to identify where they should be going and where products are,” he said.
Store manager Mike Stiskal said that even though the move was a lot of work, it’s was all worth it. “It’s been exciting to see the place take shape,” he said.
The move presented an opportunity for Sato to refresh the store. “Well, the whole process to move a store is, well, I thought it was gonig to be complicated. It was actually more complicated than I thought, but it also gave us a chance to bring in new inventory, the most updated inventory, and everything’s just fresher. And I think people are going to appreciate that and notice that when they come in for the first time,” Sato said.
Among the changes customers will find are new product categories, including a camping category, and expanded sections for seasonal items and paint as well as more craft items.
That and more are what Sato hopes will make Wilton Hardware a must-visit shopping experience for the whole family.
“We used to have a small end cap of games and toys for kids. We’ve made that section a little bit bigger as well, and we still have the Wilton wearables — the shirts, the hats, the bags and all that will be right at the front door when you walk in and it’s a much easier shopping experience for that as well,” Sato said.
One other area has been upgraded and, as Sato describes, “vastly improved.”
“We always had a fairly good selection of bird seed, but the way we have it laid out is vastly improved. You have a whole section of bird feeders that’s easy to see, and showcases how they hang from above instead of just being on a shelf, for all those bird lovers.
But the biggest change is the new location itself, in a newly-built multi-use complex right on Danbury Rd. “We’re just excited about having all the traffic going by. Customers used to tell us, ‘I couldn’t find you. I didn’t see a sign,’ even though we had a sign out front. Now we have a sign on Danbury Rd. We have a sign on Sharp Hill and we have a sign on our building. So I think we’re pretty well identified for people to find us.”
Sato added that he and the store’s employees will welcome customers “with open arms.”
“There’s a lot of people that we saw weekly, and we haven’t seen them in a while and we’re looking forward to having them come back in and letting us help them.”
Sato also wanted to let Wilton residents know how much he appreciated their support during the time the business was closed. “We want to thank you for sticking with us. We know it’s been a whole month and it’s been a long process for you and for us. But we’re finally open and we’re ready for you to come in. We’re looking for you to come in and we’re happy to see you again,” Sato said.
Stiskal reiterated the invitation. “So come on in,” he said .