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Robinson Hardware is currently owned by Jim and John Robinson, the third generation of Robinsons to own the business. It was established in 1923 by Charles Robinson, Jim and John's grandfather. The original store, which catered mainly to farmers, was located at the corner of Maple and Dunlop Street. In 1930, the business moved to its long-standing location at 31 Dunlop Street, where it stayed until 1998. Back then, Robinson Hardware was one of the only places you could buy hardware in Barrie, among other things. Apart from clothing, you could find just about anything at the hardware store. It was “the store with a million items!”

Charles then passed the business on to his sons, Ralph and Alvin Robinson. When Alvin retired in 1985, Jim and John took over the helm. Robinsons has always tried to pride themselves on having a good reputation for both personalized service and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. While service and selection remain constant, the store has definitely evolved over the years. In 1993, the store became part of the True Value co-operative in order to take advantage of a larger buying group. Around this time, the downtown geographic changed and in 1998 Jim and John decided to move the store to the east end of Barrie where they could provide the east end neighbourhood a more convenient shopping experience. Its current location at 138 Penetanguishene Road has proven to be a great location for their customers in the East End, as well as those coming from Oro-Medonte. Even though the store moved to a smaller square footage, they have tried to keep the shelves stocked with as many items as possible to meet their customers' needs and avoid them having to go elsewhere to shop. Robinsons also has an extensive Marine department that is very competitively priced and even brings customers in from the Toronto area. The store has been part of the Home Hardware family since 2009 and are very happy to be a part of a 100% Canadian, Dealer-owned retailer.

Robinson Hardware is very proud to be celebrating their 100th year in business and if you head into Robinson’s today, you might get assistance from the fourth generation of Robinsons. Jim’s daughter, Kate, has been working at the hardware store for over 20 years, whether it was on the weekends during her highschool years or during the summers between her years at University. She is known at the store for her merchandising and keeps both the customers and employees on their toes as she loves to organize and reorganize merchandise. Kate’s husband, Marcus Bromenshenkel, is a manager at the store and has been working there since 2011. He enjoys being part of the family business and has taken a keen interest in the marine department. Over the years, Robinson Hardware has been a family affair, providing many jobs to daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, and aunts and uncles of the Robinson family. The family feels very fortunate to have had great staff over the years. There are staff members that have been with the store for 40+ years and staff that have been at the store for only a few short months. One of the things that they all have in common is that they are committed to providing customers with great service and a good knowledge of their products. Robinson hardware would like to thank their customers for their business. Without their patronage, the hardware store wouldn’t be what it is today.

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