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Minton's gets ready to auction off everything

Original post made on Oct 14, 2010

Minton's Lumber and Supply, the city's oldest business, and will soon trickle away piece by piece as lumber, tools and trucks are auctioned off on Nov. 9.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 14, 2010, 10:51 AM

Comments (13)

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm

This is extremely sad, and a very bad omen.

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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Minton's is one of the reasons I bought a home in Mountain View, to have a local hardware store. Minton's excels in areas where the big box stores haven't:

1. Quality and selection of lumber.

2. Largest selection of open bin english and metric hardware.

3. Full service milling.

4. Courteous and knowledgeable staff that I see year after year.

I've changed over the years, and price isn't everything any more. Voting with my dollars to support the kinds of businesses I value in my town, is more important than getting the absolute best price for everything.

Minton's will be missed.

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Posted by Frank
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Hardin: "Voting with my dollars to support the kinds of businesses I value in my town, is more important than getting the absolute best price for everything."

Unfortunately, it appears that most people don't feel that way.

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2010 at 4:26 pm

It's a great omen. The owners are choosing to put their land to a better use

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm

The website typed in the article is wrong, by the way.

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Posted by NeHi
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Looks like more traffic on Evelyn going to SVale to buy lumber. Blossom Tru-Value will take up the hardware slack but does any have a suggestion for buying construction lumber and hardwood such as Minton's carried? I hope it is short of Southern Lumber.

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Posted by MikeR
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I shopped at Mintons. Once. With prices triple that of Home Depot I couldn't go back. Southern Lumber is also quite expensive. Try Web Link

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Posted by Steve J
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm

The auction page is open and currently full of vehicles and heavy machines:
Web Link

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Posted by Bill Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Mintons made it hard to vote my loyalty with my pocketbook.

I liked the store and those employees who were friendly and helpful, but the store was not competitive with other retailers for many reasons. Let us sympathize with the enthusiastic and talented workers who will lose their jobs, but waste no sympathy on the owners -- years ago, the owners saw the opportunity to sell out (or, in this case, "lease out") at a large financial gain and abandoned any financial or intellectual investment in the store.

Problems with the store were enormous. Minton's was my favorite place for lumber, the selection of hardwoods was hard to find elsewhere for weekend woodworkers like me. However, the high-margin consumer items that keep surviving stores in business were neglected; Minton's was like visiting a museum, with outdated inventory on the shelves. While the store had a lot of useful merchandise -- if you knew where to find it -- the presentation was unappealing, poorly lit. The check-out system was from the 1980s, with the lifeless cashiers typing the product codes, frequently guessing.

I will miss the manager and assistant manager, bright, helpful and reasonable. I will miss the shop; they could turn out pieces that I could not do at home. I will miss the lumber.

If I was lucky enough to leave work early, I could get to Minton's, but they wanted me to shop at their hours, closing at 5:30pm. If I wanted to make a trip to only one store to pick up something other than lumber and screws, it had to be elsewhere because Minton's would frequently leave me disappointed during my frequent Saturday trips. Minton's was there for contractors, not for me.

Those who say that the blame lies at the big stores like OSH/Lowes/Home Depot are wrong. Look no further than Bruce Bauer, just off San Antonio, a store that at least has an appealing selection, though it lacks consumer-friendly hours, too.

Those who claim that the city made it unhappy for Minton's to exist have been lying to the employees, searching for a scapegoat to avoid accepting responsibility. There is nothing wrong with a business making a choice to become profitable by leasing the land to a condo/townhouse developer, but trying to assign blame to the cruel city is dissembling.

Would solving the immediate and obvious problems of attacting consumers have saved Minton's? I do not know. What I do know is that the end of the store is the owner's own choice -- in order to grab a bundle of cash from the developers of the complex that will take its place. We can feel bad for ourselves in the loss of a homey old store, we can feel bad for those workers who were enthusiastic and energetic. We should not feel bad for the owners who are making a killing by killing Minton's.

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Posted by Other view
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

@Bill Minkin

You are very wrong about the reasons it is closing. You also might want to do some research at Bruce Bauer as they are also struggling in this economy.

Home Depot killed 2 of the 3 Minton's stores. Once they opened nearby to the Cupertino store the business dropped off dramatically and fatally.
True, the prices were higher at Minton's but try to remember that they bought as an independent store and HD could undercut anything they sold. They hoped that the superior customer service would help over come the price difference but it didn't happen. The owner Herb poured his most personal savings into trying to stave off closure of the Mountain View store. Finally it was a major injury and his subsequent health decline that forced the decision. That was all in the last three years, not "years ago".

It amazes me that people who have no clue to the truth are so sure they know what the reasons are for this.

It is an end of an era for Mountain View.

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Posted by Marshall
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm

What a mistake turning this historic land in to a profit center for a low class company like Prometheus Real Estate Group!

A sad time for Mountain View's current and future residents...

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Posted by Not sad in everyone's eyes
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2010 at 11:34 pm

@Marshall's comment (A sad time for Mountain View's current and future residents...)

I don't see this as a sad time at all. While it's always bittersweet to see an independently-owned business close up shop, Minton's was an anachronism, especially located where it was.

I look forward enthusiastically to the construction of the new development, the new public walkway it will create between Villa and Evelyn, and the vitality of the new residents patronizing the other independent businesses in our downtown. I also look forward to having some more renters in our neighborhood to balance out some of the crotchety homeowners arguing for days at a time about alleged mice at Castro Street residents (a recent enthralling discussion on OMVNAtalk).

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Posted by Marshall
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Unfortunatly, this development is a Prometheus development. I doubt it will be nice in any way. History has a way of repeating itself - even for those with rose colored glasses.

I'm sure the new unhappy renters will be a nice complement to the current "crotchety homeowners".

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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