News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 14, 2010

Paitson store auction set for Saturday

Large inventory being readied for sale

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Anyone who misses shopping at the former Paitson Bros. Ace Hardware store on Wabash Avenue will have one more chance this weekend.

All inventory that remained in the store when it suddenly closed in July is scheduled to be auctioned off on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of hardware, household goods and other equipment will be for sale, said Randy L. Harvey, owner of Harvey Auctions of Fort Wayne, which is conducting the one-day sale. The sale will include lawnmowers and other outdoor equipment, paint and paint supplies, plumbing, lawn and garden equipment and more. There is also a tremendous amount of shelving, he said.

“You name it, it’s here,” Harvey said, adding that the sale is perfect for contractors or anyone who fixes up homes.

About 25 people lost their jobs when Paitson Bros. closed last summer. The business owner, Chuck Procarione, told the Tribune-Star at the time there was still a chance the business could reopen.

He indicated the closure was related to a leaky roof and a dispute with the business’s landlord, Sandor Development of Indianapolis.

A sign posted inside the glass on the front door to the business Monday warned against trespassing and stated the property inside had been “seized by landlord to protect security interest.” It also gave a contact name and telephone number at Sandor Development. A message was left at that number Monday, but the call was not returned.

Procarione could not be reached Monday, either.

The public can preview merchandise at the store, 2700 Wabash Ave., from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday. Another one-hour preview starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday and could last as late as 8 p.m., Harvey said.

Registration for the auction is required. All bidders must provide a current driver’s license. All items are sold “as is,” and must be paid for in full at the time of the auction, according to a flier advertising the sale. There is also a 3- percent “buyers premium” charged on all purchases and Indiana sales tax, according to the flier.

A large inventory remained inside the store when it closed. Many smaller items, such as cans of paint, screws, nails, household cleaners or gasoline cans, will be sold in bulk, Harvey said. Larger items, such as water heaters, gas fireplaces and outdoor machinery will be sold individually, he said.

Historically, items sold in auctions such as this bring about 30 cents on the retail dollar, Harvey said. At auction prices, the new and used equipment in the store could bring a total of about $200,000, he said.

Auctions of closed businesses are not unusual, Harvey said. “In my industry, it’s an everyday occurrence,” he said.

Procarione purchased the hardware store from the Paitson family more than four years ago. The business moved to the east-side Kroger plaza at 25th Street and Wabash Avenue in 1996. Before that, the store had been at 12th Street and Wabash Avenue for 74 years.

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or