Saint John — J.D. Irving spokesperson Mary Keith held a brief news conference this morning to announce that Irving’s Kent Building Supplies, a chain of hardware and building supply stores located throughout the Maritimes, has sold their first hammer of the year.
“Last year we sold 3 hammers,” Keith said, “so we still have work to do for the remainder of the year. Even 3 is a far cry from the company’s all-time high of 4,337 sold in 1987. The 1980s was a construction boon; the shipyard was employed full-force, and all those guys had money to spend on building new decks, garages and extensions to their homes.”
The company has 32 stores throughout Atlantic Canada and 20 in New Brunswick. Keith wouldn’t say which store sold the hammer. “We don’t want a rush on them,” she explained.
A survey of other hardware stores revealed a similar state of depression. “The kids working here don’t even know what a hammer is,” said a Home Hardware clerk. “They think it’s something Thor throws around.”
Keith stated that the predominance of power tools has impacted hammer usage. “Most contractors now use nail guns,” she said. “I know I do — it’s a lot easier and a lot more fun.”
A walk through the Saint John Home Depot turned up no hammers or nails, but they had a wall full of screwdrivers; apparently New Brunswickers still remember how to screw.