Tifton hardware store expands to Albany

Photo by Barry Levine

Photo by Barry Levine

ALBANY -- Hardware, Bolts, Tools and Tillage -- or as its clients know the company, HBT -- cut the ribbon on their new Phillips Drive office Friday.

Founded in Tifton in 1981 by University of Georga classmates Chris Hammond and Jim Curington, HBT has been open in Albany since early April, "spreading the word," according to company personnel.

Hammond, HBT president, said that even though much of their merchandise is sold at their storefront locations, most sales comes from deliveries to many parts of Georgia, north Florida and east Alabama.

"It's a niche company. We have some things others don't and we'll do business at any time" Hammond said. "'We doze, but we never close.' That's our motto."

According to Hammond, major parts of the HBT customer base are large farmers, plantations and "especially" pecan growers.

"We sell quite a bit to pecan growers," Hammond said. HBT sells various hardware products and tools, nuts and bolts of "all kinds" and tillage, or planting, equipment.

Hammond says that all HBT's tillage products are manufactured in the United States specifically for HBT.

Stan Curington, son of co-owner Jim Curington and manger of HBT in Albany, says he is happy about the move.

"Albany has great potential," Curington said. "When you come into a community to stay, they (the people) will do business with you."

According to Curington, business at the Albany HBT office is doing well, but has taken a dip both this summer and during February.

"February is always bad," Curington said. "But August is picking up.

All the rain helped crops a lot, but it helped the weeds, too, so farmers were busy spraying. We don't carry a lot of spray-related equipment."

About 95 percent of HBT's Albany area sales come from deliveries. Since deliveries are made at no charge to their clients, Curington would like that figure to be closer to a 50/50 mix. Realistically, he would be happy with 20 percent store sales, Curington said.