Cameron’s Hardware plans expansion
● By Steven Hoffman
For decades, Cameron's Hardware & Supply has been an integral part of the Oxford community—a place where local residents could find everything from paint and plumbing equipment to tools and holiday lighting supplies. An ongoing expansion of the store on Baltimore Pike in Nottingham will only increase the number of items that are available to customers, and owners Frank and Angie Lobb are looking forward to the day in the spring of 2017 when all the work will be finished and they can officially unveil the results to the community.
“This project gives us the opportunity to serve the community, and to be a lasting contributor in the community,” said Frank Lobb, a longtime Nottingham resident.
According to Angie Lobb, the expansion project will increase the size of the store from about 16,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. The project also includes new storage space on the site for large items like snowblowers, tractors, and water heaters, as well as equipment that Cameron’s Hardware rents out to homeowners and contractors. An expanded lawn & garden department with tractors, tillers, backhoes, and many more garden supplies is also part of the project, which started early in 2016.
The store will also be completely reset, Frank Lobb explained, which will give customers a more direct way to navigate through the 40,000 or so items that the store carries.
“We try to be a complete, core hardware store—to to have everything that you need,” Frank Lobb said.
Cameron's Hardware may not carry as many of a particular item as a big box store would, but the store offers a wide variety of items, and the staff has extensive product knowledge, which equates to a superior experience for the customers.
“We pride ourselves on having what you need,” Lobb said. “And we think our prices are the best around.”
As a member of the Ace Hardware family, Cameron’s Hardware & Supply has the retail resources of a national company, but this family-owned business still prides itself on delivering excellent customer service that can only be found in locally owned and operated stores.
“When we converted to Ace, we had the opportunity to talk about what we would like for the store,” Lobb said, explaining that the expansion project is geared toward meeting the needs of the community.
Cameron's Hardware is a warranty dealer for Stihl, Husqvarna and Echo brands. Do-it-yourselfers will find a wide assortment of Black & Decker and Craftsman tools. Cameron's Hardware runs four plumbing trucks and heating trucks, and the store carries a full line of HVAC and plumbing supplies. It is also considered a top firearms distributor in the area, with prices that are hard to beat.
Cameron's Hardware also offers the only automatic chainsaw sharpener in the area, and customers can have their chainsaws sharpened while they wait. The store also has a sharpener for lawn mower blades.
Cameron's was first opened in the early 1950s on the site, also on Baltimore Pike, where the Oxford Center for Dance sits today. The original owner was Clyde Cameron. He moved the business to its present location in 1988.
In 2000, with Cameron looking to retire, the Lobbs purchased the business. Frank Lobb recalled that Carl Fretz, the longtime president of the Peoples Bank of Oxford, was instrumental in getting him to purchase the business because he knew how important Cameron's Hardware was to the Oxford area, and he knew that the Lobbs would manage it properly.
Part of the reason for Cameron's Hardware's success is the fact that it is very much a family business with more than 40 well-trained employees who take pride in delivering quality service to customers. Angie Lobb is the president. Frank Lobb is the vice president of operations. Jeff Lobb is the general manager. His wife, Heather, is the administrative manager. John McDermott, a son-in-law to Frank and Angie, is the retail manager. Additionally, one grandchild works at the store full-time, while three others work part-time.
“In order to run a family business successfully, you need a family that can disagree, and can agree to disagree comfortably,” Frank Lobb said. “It’s a wonderful thing to be able to do something like this with your family.”
Cameron's Hardware is located at 2195 Baltimore Pike, Oxford. The store's hours are 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. each Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.