Lowe’s to Close All Orchard Supply Hardware Stores

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An Orchard Supply Hardware store in Northern California. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Orchard Supply Hardware, which has locations in San Diego and San Marcos, will be closing by early next year, with parent company Lowe’s announcing Wednesday it wants to “focus on its core home improvement business.”

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Lowe’s owns all 99 locations of OSH throughout California, Oregon and Florida. There are at least two dozen locations in Southern California.

“While it was a necessary business decision to exit Orchard Supply Hardware, decisions that impact our people are never easy,” Lowe’s President/CEO Marvin Ellison said. “We will be providing outplacement services for impacted associates, and they will be given priority status if they choose to apply for other Lowe’s positions.”

It was unclear exactly how many workers will be affected by the closures.

Ellison said closing the OSH stores is part of an overall streamlining plan. He said the company is “developing plans to aggressively rationalize store inventory, reducing lower-performing inventory while investing in increased depth of high-velocity items. Exiting Orchard Supply Hardware and rationalizing inventory are the driving force behind the changes to Lowe’s Business Outlook.”

OSH was founded in San Jose in 1931 as a co-op among ranchers to purchase farm supplies. But the company eventually morphed into a general hardware store. OSH was purchased in 1996 by Sears, but in 2012 Sears moved it into a separate business that went into bankruptcy.

Lowe’s purchased the chain out of bankruptcy.

Clearance sales are expected to begin at most OSH locations as early as Thursday.

–City News Service

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