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  • Last modified 59 days ago (July 18, 2019)

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Unique variety store fighting for its survival

Staff writer

A variety store that’s been a fixture in Marion since 1983 is now struggling to stay afloat.

Joan and John Diver, who own HRK Warehouse, 119 N. Roosevelt, say the summer’s flooding in the county has apparently made a deep cut in the money Marion residents have to spend after taking care of losses.

That has taken a cut in revenues for the store.

“I think people don’t have money to spend,” John said.

The Divers bought the business in 2016 and former owner Bernice Beach retired. At the time, Beach said a shrinking customer base and health issues she faced were the reasons she accepted the Divers’ offer to buy the store.

The Divers, who have a home in Augusta, spend Wednesday through Sunday at Marion, keeping the doors open Thursday through Sunday.

They have been happy in Marion, and Joan said the best thing about Marion is the friendliness of the people here.

“Marion has been very kind to us,” Joan said.

John said operating the store has been good for his health because it gives him a reason to be active again after several years of retirement.

The store sells an assortment of household goods, camping gear, fishing items, furnishings including mattresses, toys, party goods, health and beauty items, cleaning supplies, motorcycle gear, décor items, tools, and much more. No matter what a customer wants, it’s probably on the shelf or the sales floor.

This summer, the store offers homegrown produce, which they might do again next year. Tomatoes have been especially popular.

If someone doesn’t find what they are looking for, all they have to do is ask.

“We’ve got people who say they want a specific color of couch or type of bed, and we will order it,” John said. “It may take a while to get it, but we’ll get it.”

He said customers are delighted when their custom orders arrive.

Last modified July 18, 2019

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