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Beating back the big box stores, beloved Arlington Hardware store keeps growing

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ARLINGTON, Wash. -- A lot of things have changed over the years in Arlington, but there has been one constant: a beloved store that has been around since the day Arlington was incorporated.

Arlington Hardware started as a place where dairy farmers could get the tools and equipment they needed for work in what was very much a farm community.

But over the years it has expanded -- again, and again, and again. Now, it sells just about everything, from sporting goods to food to clothes. That includes a new women’s boutique.

“We just keep expanding until we run out of room,” said Amanda Zuanich, the manager of Arlington Hardware. “You basically don’t have to go anywhere else.”

At a time when big box and online stores are putting main street shops out of business, Arlington Hardware keeps growing.

“It’s a gathering place where you meet people,” said Kenny Casperson, who has been coming to the store since the 70s.

The community comes together here, and they also put things on the shelves that you might want.

“This is my second home,” Hank Breekveldt says.

Breekveldt says he should be retired by now, but he continues to work at the store because he enjoys seeing old friends and helping people in the electrical department.  He’s been coming to the store himself since the 1950s.

“My dad was a dairy farmer, and I can remember coming here before I went to school when I was 4 years old.”

It’s a place to talk, but also, to take action. When the Oso slide struck, volunteers came to Arlington Hardware for digging tools. Soon the store began raising funds, collecting more than $10,000 from the community.

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