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The Shopper

The Shopper

Friday, October 26, 2012 8:28 PM

Photo by Matt Bristow/The Ottawa Herald

Shoppers walk past a paint swatch display Thursday at DIY Supply, 2204 S. Princeton Circle, Ottawa. The do-it-yourself store, located between Country Mart and Goodwill, opened for business Tuesday.

New ‘DIY’ lumberyard, supply store opens doors

By CRYSTAL HERBER, Herald Staff Writer

The distinct smell of fresh-cut lumber and new paint wafts through the sliding doors of 2204 S. Princeton Circle. Country music rings in the background as patrons are greeted with a friendly welcome.

Ottawa is the new home to DIY Supply, and the company is happy to locate its do-it-yourself store in town, Bob Smitley, the store’s manager, said.

“We are very, very proud to be here in Ottawa,” Smitley said. “We see Ottawa as poised for great growth, and that’s one of the reasons we picked Ottawa for our new concept of DIY.”

The store opened its doors Tuesday morning after nearly six months of construction and renovation. Offering people a wide variety of home improvement and construction goods, the store boasts large paint and pet supply departments, as well as power and hand tools, plumbing, welders and fasteners. With the cold beginning to set in, space heaters are front and center in the store. The store also has a full lumberyard, which Smitley said he hopes will be able to offer delivery, starting in the spring.

The wide variety of goods the store offers hopefully will allow residents the opportunity to shop locally, Smitley said, rather than driving long distances to find what they need. Smitley has been with the parent company of the DIY Store, McLiney Lumber Company, for nearly 40 years. During his 12 years as a Kansas City district manager, he said, he saw many customers from the Ottawa area coming in to Kansas City lumberyard stores he oversaw.

About 95 percent of the 20-member crew at the store is from Ottawa, Smitley said. Open now for less than a week, Smitley said the response from the community has been good.

“They seem to like our selection,” he said. “They seem to like the name brands that we carry. They seem to like the mix that we have in the store, and they seem to like the way it’s laid out so far.

“And we’ve heard that we’re pretty friendly, and all the people of Ottawa are pretty friendly.”

Open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, the store carries about 60 percent American-made products, Smitley said, which is important to the company. DIY Supply caters both to the individual homeowner looking to make improvements to their house, or to contractors looking for supplies for a project.

A particular segment of the population the store seeks to attract is the female do-it-yourselfer, the store’s manager said.

“We want [women] to feel comfortable, and we’ll try to answer their questions as best that we can, as we know they’re the decision makers in the family,” Smitley said with a smile.

Smitley encouraged residents to come in and browse the many shelves of the new store and see what appeals to them. The extensive variety, he said, offers people a more complete and comfortable shopping experience, saving them time and money.

“People can walk in here and not have to go to four different places to get one job accomplished, and we feel like we’ve got enough variety that they can do other things,” he said. “We have everything from a nut and bolt to a house, if you want to take it out.”

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