Got milk? Lawrence Bros. combines hardware and grocery

A 16-unit supermarket company in Texas and New Mexico is taking the plunge into the hardware business at one of its stores. 

A 32,000-sq.-ft. store in Abilene, Texas, has altered its format to combine hardware and groceries., with 35% of the building dedicated to home improvement and repairs, according to an article in the Abilene Reporter-News. 

Another unusual operational feature of the CashSaver Cost Plus Food Outlet is its pricing strategy -- described as cost plus 10%.

Lawrence Bros. operates 16 stores in Texas and New Mexico, and has teamed with Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware as its supplier. 

The combination of hardware and groceries was described as a groundbreaking partnership between a grocery store and a hardware business, but it’s not the first.

In Louisiana, Kief Hardware, a Do it Best dealer, offers a sizeable grocery business in a format called Kief Hardware Neighborhood Market. Menards also was an early experimenter in the grocery business, with several aisles in its big-box format dedicated to grocery staples.