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Last updated: February 05. 2014 8:25PM - 1109 Views
By - jrunions@civitasmedia.com



Photo courtesy of Hammer'sThe staff of Hammer's Department Store's newest location in New Tazewell is gearing up for the weekend's grand opening. The store will open Saturday at 9 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Hammer'sThe staff of Hammer's Department Store's newest location in New Tazewell is gearing up for the weekend's grand opening. The store will open Saturday at 9 a.m.
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Since 1941, Hammer’s stores have brought quality items at reduced prices to consumers.


The nugget of an idea by store founder Arthur Bernard (A.B.) Hammer Sr. has mushroomed over the last 70 plus years to encompass ten locations in northern Alabama and eastern Tennessee.


Hammer, who had years of retail experience at the Knoxville, Tenn.-based Watson’s and Dobson’s stores, decided to see if his idea of stocking an empty warehouse in Guntersville, Ala., with fire salvage items would fly.


It didn’t take long before Hammer’s suspicions were confirmed. He could make a go of his new thriving business by stocking a mix of famous brand irregulars and close out deals along with first quality items to satisfy anyone who walked through the doors of his new enterprise.


In 1952, Hammer’s son, A.B. Jr. and his wife Helen, opened the store in Clinton, Tenn. The entrepreneurs set about making that store thrive while the company kept one eye peeled for other good locations in which to expand.


Today, the family owned and operated business encompasses seven locations in east Tennessee and three stores in northern Alabama.


Will Hammer, great-grandson of A.B., says he is very pleased at the public response to the opening of the New Tazewell location.


“We knew we were going to lose a substantial amount of our customer base, especially the ones who came from Middlesboro, when we closed the store in Maynardville, Tenn. in 2009 and moved to Halls, Tenn. It couldn’t be helped,” said Hammer, referring to roadwork being done at the time to widen Maynardville Highway.


A chance drive through Claiborne County by Hammer and his father Jeff netted the eventual opening of the newest location, inside the former Only A Dollar Store.


Hammer says the public can expect the same great deals on a wide selection of items including clothing, housewares and hunting gear.


Though smaller than some of the other locations, Hammer says the 4,600 square feet of selling space is accommodating the myriad items currently stuffed into every cranny and hole inside the store.


“Actually, we prefer smaller stores. They are just easier to operate,” he said.


Hammer says the store will be open the first weekend of its operation, Feb. 8-9. Regular store hours are 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., Mon. through Thurs. and 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Fri. and Sat.


Hammer’s is located at 513 Cross Street, inside the same strip mall as United Grocery Outlet and Dollar General Store in New Tazewell, Tenn.


The store phone number is 423-626-5022.


Jan Runions may be reached at 423-626-3222


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