Hardware Store With 'Nice Variety, Excellent Service' Closes Its Doors
Goodman's Hardware has closed, following the recent death of owner Richard Singer.
Goodman's Hardware, one of the last original stores at the Radburn Plaza Shopping Center, has closed its doors.
Richard Singer, the Fair Lawn Avenue store's owner, died at the age of 60 on Saturday. His family ran the business for more than 40 years. Signs were posted on the store's front and back entrances informing customers of the closure and thanking them for their "support over the years."
One sign asked customers who need to pick up their vacuums, screens or any other personal items at Goodman's to call 973-798-8007. Another sign contained a message from the Mainardi family and Wayne-based Mainardi Management–the real estate firm that is the landlord for Goodman's and the rest of the stores at Radburn Plaza–explaining that the store will not be re-opening "at the request of the Singer family.
Chris Mainardi, a property manager for Mainardi–confirmed in a telephone interview with Patch that the hardware store went out of business and will not re-open.
"Rich was a great man," Mainardi said. "He was a big supporter of local activities, and he will be missed."
Former Goodman's employees and members of the Singer family could not immediately be reached.
One example of Singer's altruism was given by Debbie Lesnoy, educational director of The Leah Sokoloff Nursery School of Shomeri Torah on Morlot Avenue, who said that Singer donated pool pumps, art supplies, and various other items from his store to the school. In turn, when they school needed to buy supplies, Goodman's was always its store of choice.
"Anything that was possible to get from [Singer], we got from him," Lesnoy said.
Lesnoy called Singer "a real mensch" (the Yiddish term for a person of integrity and honor).
"You would think everyone in Fair Lawn would have been at his funeral, he was just that kind of man," Lesnoy said.
A number of customers walked up to the store's entrance on Thursday only to see that Goodman's was closed for business. Art Kern of Fair Lawn said the store had "nice variety, excellent service."
"Whenever I need a hardware store, that's where I go," said Kern, who shopped at Goodman's even when he lived in Glen Rock.
Gail, another customer from Fair Lawn, said "I loved [Goodman's], because they were friendly, courteous and nice, and they always had the things I wanted." Lillian and Jackie, also Fair Lawn residents, always went to the store for their light bulbs and water softener salt, respectively.
"It was a pleasure to walk in the store because everything was neatly set up," Lillian said
"I'm going to miss it," Jackie said.
On Monday, a sign at the entrance of Goodman's indicated the store was closed for the day to honor Singer's memory, but did not say that the store had closed for good. After seeing Monday's sign, customer Steve Zimmerman of Fair Lawn reflected on what Goodman's meant to the community, explaining that it provided the personal touch absent from larger, corporate hardware stores that can be found on the highway. In that spirit, a sign posted at the entrance of Goodman's thanks customers for "not shopping at Home Depot," asking "What have they done for your community???"
"They are very personl and helpful here," Zimmerman said of Goodman's. "They seem to know you over and over again when you come in, and [they] are very friendly."
"We're lucky to have this [store in Fair Lawn]," he said. "It has all the basic items that you need on a daily basis."
At the time, Zimmerman lamented that mom-and-pop hardware stores are closing in many communities in this tough economy. Now, following the death of its owner, Goodman's has met the same fate.
Singer, who was born in Rahway, graduated from Rahway High School and Bryant University. He was an active member of the All American Corvette Club, the Natural Glass Corvette Association, and the Fair Lawn Chamber of Commerce. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the VNAA Hospice Service of Morris County.