After 40 years, Marion institution to close
A Marion store that has been a fixture since 1983 is closing without fanfare.
HRK Variety Store, first opened by Jim and Bernice Beach to fill a void left by the closing of Marion’s Duckwall store, was sold in 2016 to Augusta residents Joan and John Diver after Bernice’s health and her husband’s death several years earlier made operating the store too much. Inventory will be sold at auction.
Dave Crofoot, co-owner of Western Associates in Marion, said HRK has been a great service to the community for years.
It’s a sign of the times that small businesses no longer can compete with corporate America on some things, he said.
“They outlived their market,” Crofoot said.
Crofoot noted that Marion soon would have two competing dollar stores, which also compete for the same customers as HRK. But those stores won’t offer everything a customer needs.
“You’ll have to go to McPherson to buy a mattress now,” he said.
Judy Dannenfelser, who operates a booth at TC’s What-Not Shop in Marion, said she had bought mattresses at HRK.
“If I need a toy or a board game or something for the kids, I can get it there,” she said. “Where else in town can you buy furniture?”
She blamed rerouting of highways outside of town for making it hard for local businesses to keep customers.
John Diver declined to discuss the store’s closing except to say his wife had suffered an injury.
The store sells an assortment of household goods, camping gear, fishing items, furnishings, mattresses, toys, party goods, health and beauty items, cleaning supplies, motorcycle gear, décor items, tools, and more.
If an item was not on the sales floor, the Divers would order it.
Pilsen Packrats will auction HRK inventory and fixtures at 9 a.m. Sept. 10.
Items to be auctioned will include watches, costume jewelry, pocket knives, beauty supplies, fishing tackle and supplies, candles, arts and craft supplies, school supplies, toys, sports equipment, bicycle supplies, board games, party supplies, shoes, yard tools, saw blades, tools, pool toys, automotive chemicals and supplies, trailer supplies, gas cans, tarps, camping supplies, barbecue supplies, Power electrical supplies, décor items, kitchen supplies, gloves and hats, towels, hygiene items, picture frames, plumbing supplies, hardware, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, leather jackets and vests, couches, and assorted furniture.