North Central: A Hardware Store Puts the Customers First

One local resident purchased a set of keys for his apartment.
One local resident purchased a set of keys for his apartment.

When Jim Kim decided to open a business, he thought going into the restaurant industry was the perfect fit. After managing a restaurant in West Philadelphia for a few years with a few friends, the business went south and they had no choice but to close.

Soon after, Kim began to help out at a local hardware store in West Philadelphia that was owned by a few of his friends. That work experience opened his eyes to a business industry that truly suited him so he decided to open his very own store in North Central. This was exactly 20 years ago and his business is still going strong.

The D & J Hardware Store, located at 1525 Cecil B. Moore Ave., was named after Kim’s two sons, Danny and Jimmy. Kim said this hardware store provides the essential appliances needed for many home improvement needs including light bulbs, nails, hammers, power tools and paint brushes.

“Many neighbors come to D & J for appliances because we have anything you need to fix something in your house,” Kim said.

However, Kim said his business was not always booming. In 1995, Kim said a Home Depot opened in the area and he lost many customers. Kim kept his head up and pushed to keep his business alive. He decided to slash his prices and made his services cheaper than Home Depot. After five years, Kim started to gain regular customers and he still has many of the same customers to this day.

Kim copied a set of keys for a customer on the machine in the center of his store.

“It puts a smile on my face when I see my regulars come back, but I hope to attract more residents to my store,” Kim said.

Kim said one specific machine in the store makes his hardware store unique. Kim said several customers come into the store to copy a set of keys. The machine that copies the keys stands in the center of the store so customers get to observe the process close up. Kim said his prices to copy keys are 30 cents cheaper than the prices at Home Depot. Kim said this is his most popular service at the store.

The D & J Hardware Store is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Kim said feel free to call the store at 215-232-5583 and he would be happy to assist any customer in finding the right household appliances.

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