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Author Topic: Orchard Supply Hardware going out of business  (Read 342 times)

sparker

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Orchard Supply Hardware going out of business
« on: August 23, 2018, 12:41:27 PM »

One more California institution bites the dust!  Orchard Supply Hardware, founded right here in San Jose in 1931, is shutting its doors at the end of 2018, closing all of its outlets.  Sort of a "mid-sized" chain, nestled between the independents and Ace franchises and the "big box" Lowe's and Home Depot, it featured much better service than the mega-chains (OK, I know some of you will counter "what service?").  Prior to the "mega" stores moving in, OSH was the largest hardware chain in, first, Northern California;  by the early '70's they had stores in just about every major city in the region down to Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo.  The late '70's through the mid '80's found them expanding to Southern California using a form of "zone" coverage -- in the late '90's I lived in Anaheim Hills and there was a OSH in neighboring Yorba Linda, and when I moved to Redlands, the closest one was in Riverside.   About 20 years ago, Orchard was purchased by Sears, who moved their Craftsman brand of hand & power tools into the mix.   About 2003 Sears management started closing the lower-performing stores; by this time, Home Depot had assumed the "800-pound-gorilla" status" and was literally dominating sales of commonly-used household and construction items.  When Lowe's started becoming the "750-pound gorilla" by essentially locating anywhere HD wasn't, the writing was on the wall.  Sears sold OSH to Lowe's a few years back; the larger company wanted to utilize the smaller stores as "neighborhood mini-Lowes" with better customer service than either of the larger chains.  Plainly that strategy didn't work; now it looks like Lowe's is simply shuttering the stores and, in all likelihood, selling the properties (up here in San Jose, several of the OSH stores are in very pricey areas).  OSH had something quite unique -- a calendar featuring illustrations of trains.  These were distributed as gifts to in-store and online customers each December; they always found exceptionally good artists; some of the pictures wouldn't be out of place on the walls in RR museums! OSH will definitely be missed; I could invariably find things there that just were likely too obscure for the "big boys". 

So pardon me; I need to get down to OSH and stock up on 1/8" MDF stock (they're the last place to actually stock 2x4 sheets of this) before they run out!
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bing101

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Re: Orchard Supply Hardware going out of business
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 01:29:07 PM »

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/08/22/lowes-orchard-supply-hardware-stores-close/1060236002/

According to this report Lowes to close some of the orchard supply stores.
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CapeCodder

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Re: Orchard Supply Hardware going out of business
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2018, 07:15:08 PM »

Reminds me of Hill-Behan Lumber of St. Louis. Hell, you can add Central Hardware to that as well. My grandmother has a travel mug from Central Hardware that has the saying "Everything from scoops to nuts!"
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DTComposer

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Re: Orchard Supply Hardware going out of business
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2018, 08:42:51 PM »

I'll miss them, having gone to them in both Northern and Southern California for decades. They were big enough to stock 90% of the things I needed, with much, much better customer service and negligible price differences from the big box stores. It would be nice if someone could buy out the naming rights and some of the locations and pull it back to being a local chain (along the lines of Cole's Hardware in San Francisco).
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sparker

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Re: Orchard Supply Hardware going out of business
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2018, 01:15:00 AM »

According to the OSH "obituary" in today's Mercury News, the chain still had 99 active stores open as of the closing announcement; most were here in CA, with FL having several plus a couple in OR.  They're closed down a few days so management can conduct an inventory; for the remainder of 2018 they'll be having a chain-wide "clearance sale".  There was an accompanying article exploring who is likely to buy/lease the 50-odd store sites in Northern California; since most are within a few miles of parent Lowe's, occupancy by another hardware vendor is highly unlikely.   
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