Wednesday February 20, 2013

NEAL P. GOSWAMI

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- H. Greenberg & Son Inc. will soon be affiliated with another hardware store group that operates retail locations in Massachusetts and Vermont.

Officials at the 321 Main St. store and at Leader Home Centers, which also has a store in Brattleboro, both said Tuesday that no agreement is in place at this time. For now, Leader is only providing advice to Greenberg's, according to Leader CEO Geoff Harris.

"We are really just kind of helping them out a little bit with some advice with what they need," Harris said. "We just kind of entered into a handshake agreement to help them out, maybe with some purchasing advice."

Leader has four additional stores located in Massachusetts in Amherst, Barre, Deerfield and Greenfield.

Harris said it was too early to determine if there will be a formal merger of the two companies. Rather, Leader is "being good neighbors" and looking to assist Greenberg's "to get them through a little bit of the hump that they're going through," he said.

Greenberg's Manager Pam Furlon said the Bennington store would be joining Leader's five stores, but details have not been finalized. "At this point there's still more details to follow, but we will be joining leader home center," she said.

According to the Greenberg's website, the affiliation with Leader "will provide Greenberg's customers greater access to building materials, lumber, new product lines and resources for both construction and home improvement projects.


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The website also states that the Bennington store will remain a separate company, and President Steve Greenberg will retain his position.

Greenberg's has a long history in Bennington. The company was founded by Harry Greenberg as agriculture and livestock business in the early 1900s. His son, Norman, moved the business to its current location in 1949.

The larger retail store was the beginning of a "Complete Home Center" selling hardware and supplies. The store gathered products into one location that were previously sold by a variety of merchants. The company would later add the lumber yard and expand the building footprint over the years.

A second Greenberg's retail store in North Adams, Mass., was opened in 1976. The Massachusetts store closed abruptly last month, however.