The Weakley-Watson Hardware store announced Thursday that it will remain open after its owners, the Blagg family, sold the store to the Jacobs family of Jacobs Pharmacy.
Earlier this month Weakley-Watson announced its intention to close after 140 years in business.
The Blagg and Jacobs families issued a joint press release Thursday morning, with a picture of Mike Blagg shaking hands with Tim Jacobs inside his pharmacy. “Coming soon will be expanded product lines and services along with the exceptional customer services you’ve depended on for generations,” the release says.
Jacobs said his idea to purchase the hardware store came only after hearing of its closure two weeks ago. “It just kind of made our hearts sick when we heard the news,” Jacobs said. “We just started making phone calls to find out what was going on, and why.”
Jacobs described himself as a frequent Weakley-Watson customer and said the community would have suffered in its absence. “I just didn’t want to be in a position where that store wasn’t on this side of town,” he said. “Brownwood’s all about community and neighborhoods, and to lose that vital a part of a neighborhood … I didn’t want to see it happen.”
Blagg said he received an outpouring of sadness and nostalgia when the closure was announced. “We just had a lot of people — dozens, hundreds of people — come in the store and say, ‘We understand why you’re doing it, but we hate to see the store close. We love your store,’” Blagg said. “It was really very heartwarming.”
He said the store began receiving inquiries soon after the announcement about whether it would consider a sale rather than a closure. “Of course, the answer was yes, we’d love to do that,” Blagg said. “The Jacobs came to us with an offer that we thought was successful, and we felt good about them buying it as a local family. They’re a successful operator of Jacobs Pharmacy, so they know how to run a business.”
In the press release, Jacobs said his son Weston and wife Emily will return to Brownwood from Dallas and take over operation of the hardware store. “I think he’ll provide some youthful energy to the business,” Blagg said. “We just thought that was a good scenario.”
Jacobs said many people in Brownwood have “gone and seen what is out in the world” before returning to the town to raise a family and run a business. He said the store will retain the True Value tradition under his son and keep its expansive selection, while also undergoing some remodeling and updating.
“We’re just thankful to the Blagg family,” Jacobs said. “They have been so very cooperative and we have enjoyed every interaction with them. We’re appreciative that they were able to have such an amazing store that we could just pick up where they left off and carry the torch forward.”
The Jacobs family will take possession of Weakley-Watson on March 1.