March 28, 2018 By Tara Law
Archer Hardware Store, which has been in Jackson Heights for 79 years, will close Saturday.
Vasantal “Victor” Mehta, 72, has operated the store at 73-21 Broadway with his wife, Jayaovaben, for 35 years. The pair have decided that its time to retire.
Mehta, who moved to Queens as a young man from the Indian province Gujarat, purchased the hardware store from a man named Mr. Goldstein after answering an ad in the newspaper.
Mehta, in recent times, has tried to sell the store, but he has not found a buyer.
“The business is different now,” said Mehta. “Nobody wants to buy a hardware store.”
Mehta said that he believes customers are more interested in buying goods online and in “giant” stores.
Mehta, however, is a strong advocate of small hardware stores.
“They’ve got better service, actually,” he said. “They’re very fast. When you go to the big stores, you’re there for an hour.”
Mehta plans to spend his retirement with his seven grandchildren and at his temple, the Jain Center of America, and to visit his family back in India.
The store is currently offering up to 50 percent off on hardware supplies.