Thread Number: 79428  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Orchard Supply Hardware Reboot!
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Post# 1033460   5/23/2019 at 11:26 (416 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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It was reported on the news last night that several of the empty OSH stores in California are being considered for a re-launch of OSH (under different ownership than Lowe's, of course):  Outdoor Supply Hardware.   Merchandising will be the same as Orchard, and they're looking to hire back former OSH employees who lost their jobs.  It's a small step, but at least it's in the right direction.  I think the parent company, Central Network Retail Group, is behind an OSH in Southern California that reopened as a "DIY Home Center" a few months ago.


No mention of which stores will be reopened yet.  I know the one a few blocks from me won't be among them, as the parcel it sits on has become part of a huge land grab by Google on the west side of downtown, but I would think at least a couple of shuttered OSH buildings will be located here in Orchard's home town.


This post was last edited 05/23/2019 at 14:17

Post# 1033606 , Reply# 1   5/25/2019 at 17:13 (414 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
A "noble jesture"

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While having a deserted OSH store suddenly return from the dead as a useful place to purchase needed items and perhaps receive quality help and information, Orchard Supply, as the employees and fiercely loyal customers remember it, will never really return. During my many years with the Company, I watched the changes occur with various owners. Grace Industries, a shipping business, kept things as they were and had the money to invest in growth. Wickes, whose main concern was manufacturing furniture, already owned home improvement centers like Builder's Emporium and Angel's. Many of these were converted to OSH stores and became instantly more profitable. 


When Sears purchased OSH things began to change. Sears had a valid reason for acquiring OSH. At the time Sears had nearly 400 free-standing Sears Hardware stores that were failing miserably. The idea was to allow successful Orchard to take over the operation of these stores and turn them around. Unfortunately managing stores a thousand miles away regardless of how many trips we took on commercial planes or Sears two corporate jets (an awful experience) just didn't work. Personally I felt that there was as much merchandise going out the back doors of these stores as was going out the front. The associates never seemed to take "ownership". At least Sears eventually realized that their Chicago-style of fist-pounding, fire & brimstone management wouldn't work in the San Jose corporate office. Those nasty people were quickly sent back to Hoffman Estates...probably on a bus. 


The real tragic thing that started once Sears assumed ownership was the slow death of what we called "The Orchard Culture" which had everything to do with making sure that every employee knew that their paycheck came directly from our customers. The huge Tracy Distribution Center with it's efficient replenishment system, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable...they've all been put to rest. The almost 6000 members of the OSH Team are gone now. Hiring some of them back may help the new enterprise, and I hope it does. But Orchard Supply Hardware will never return. 


If Ward & June are still looking for the Beaver, tell them he went back to the river.

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Post# 1033630 , Reply# 2   5/25/2019 at 21:51 (414 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I can honestly say I miss OSH and hope one returns to San Leandro. One, it was fairly close to my home, Two, at least until the Lowe's takeover, it had a lot of things that were difficult if not impossible to find elsewhere (I'm still looking for fiber reinforced black garden hose washers... OSH always had them. Lowe's and HD? Nope.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Post# 1033636 , Reply# 3   5/26/2019 at 00:09 (414 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Joe, you are absolutely right.  The original OSH is gone for good.  It has been since Sears took over IMO.


Per my local Nextdoor discussion board, CNRG is actually interested in the new "main" store venue, which is super convenient to me.  The adjacent old main store is still vacant.  A Sprouts store was supposed to go in there, but potential tenants for the old store have been spooked since Google bought both parcels and plans to build a huge complex nearby.


Sidebar:  The old OSH neon blade sign that was stolen shortly after the main store abruptly closed was recently recovered.  It's now safely in the hands of the Historical Museum (see link).  Down the street, the O.C. McDonald sign still stands, but it's only a matter of time until it's endangered by yet more high density housing with ground floor retail.


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Post# 1033640 , Reply# 4   5/26/2019 at 03:57 (414 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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How do you steal a sign that large?

Post# 1033690 , Reply# 5   5/26/2019 at 19:43 (413 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Good question Kenny!


My theory is that the thieves had access to a truck and rigging equipment, and they chose to execute the operation in broad daylight outside of commute periods while other trucks and equipment were on the scene after the liquidation sale.


The news story in the link directly below indicates that the sign was taken by a concerned citizen who felt it might be in harm's way.   The post assembly that the sign hung from was removed recently and is also at History Park now.


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