Orchard Supply Hardware closing all stores | News | Mountain View Online |


Orchard Supply Hardware closing all stores

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Just three years after overhauling its new Mountain View store, Orchard Supply Hardware's parent company announced Wednesday morning it will be closing down all of its locations.

The news signals the end for a home-improvement chain that originated in the South Bay nearly 90 years ago. But like many retail businesses, Orchard Supply has been on the ropes for years, facing intense competition from larger stores and online rivals. The company declared bankruptcy in 2014 and was later acquired by the hardware giant Lowe's, based in North Carolina.

Following the purchase, Lowe's announced a commitment to inject $200 million to prop up the struggling chain. As part of that investment, the Orchard Supply in Mountain View was remodeled, and the chain began expanding outside of California into Oregon and Florida. As recently as last year, a new Orchard Supply store had opened in East Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles Times.

All Orchard Supply locations are expected to close by October, according to a Lowe's earnings report released on Wednesday morning. As they work to shutter those stores, the company expects to hold closing sales to sell off their remaining inventory.

Under the current plan, all Orchard Supply employees are expected to be terminated. Lowe's officials say they will provide job placement services for all workers, some of whom could be hired on by Lowe's.

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37 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:23 pm

The MV store did not open 3 years ago, it was REMODELED then.

14 people like this
Posted by Alan L.
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Closing OSH is sad, and a dis-service to the community. Just more evidence that BIGNESS is not good None of these companies is "bad"---They have a job to do for their share holders, but, where a smaller neighborhood supply store would have friendly customers they supported, and were supported by, big companies only care about the balance sheet. I know many smaller supply stores
That are successful.

27 people like this
Posted by MVFlyer
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:36 pm

OSH, while a chain, operated more like a neighborhood store. It will be missed (no more train calendars!). It's unfortunate that Lowe's chose to close the chain rather than sell it, but that might be a sign of the times.

Wonder what, if anything will come in there. I'm guessing housing...

44 people like this
Posted by Smaller local alternatives
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:39 pm

I'll miss OSH, esp during the holidays, but Blossom True Value Hardware and Los Altos Hardware are excellent local businesses that we can still support. After that it's all Big Orange or Lowes, so shop wisely and with purpose!

Support our local independent businesses or lose them forever to Amazon and the rest.

24 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 22, 2018 at 3:05 pm

This article seems to be written by someone who did little research and got a lot of odd things wrong. The MV location has been there for MANY years. It just got a facelift with the rest of the chain. And it did NOT go bankrupt. It was owned by Sears. When SEARS was going under, it sold OSH to Lowes. Now that Lowes itself is having financial problems, it is closing down OSH as well as trimming a lot of their own inventory.

It is too bad as it was my go-to hardware store for decades.

11 people like this
Posted by Mark Noack
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 22, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Mark Noack is a registered user.

I want to thank everyone who pointed out that Mountain View has long had an Orchard Supply. I corrected that error in the story.

9 people like this
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 22, 2018 at 3:23 pm

The moment Lowes bought them out is the moment we lost what made OSH special.

For an example, say you're going in looking for silicone sealant. There are hundreds of types in existence, from many brands and in many different sizes, colors, and formulations. But you wouldn't know that going into Home Depot or Lowes. At one of the big box stores, you find a thousand tubes each of just a couple varieties from one or two companies in maybe two colors if you're lucky. No different sizes, no specialty items, just bulk.

At the old Orchard Supply, like the best independent hardware stores, there would be at least few units each of a great many varieties, in multiple colors, sizes and manufacturers. You had choices and you could find that odd size or color. The same was true of every product type they carried, from fasteners to paint. That's why I went there, and that's why my father before me went there. When Lowe's took them over, OSH itself became a miniature Lowes with an OSH-colored coat of paint. Gone was the selection and personality, and its place, a mere two varieties of sealant, one single size, a hundred tubes each.

11 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 22, 2018 at 4:01 pm

I thought I may also want to chime in with the discussions involving the decision to close all the OSH stores in the Bay Area.

My first job right after graduation from High School as a summer position that only last 2 months as a cashier at OSH. It allowed me to earn some money and also show me how difficult it was to earn it. As a cashier, I had to stand in that cashier's box for long periods of time, especially when the lines got extremely long. I've seen many situations where I had to deal with rude customers looking for a cheap way to get attention, and also abusive boyfriends berating their girlfriends in my line. The things that frustrated me were trying to find out how much various sized screws costed as their was no way to stick a price stick on them without falling off. I don't know how I got through that, but I did.

Now as a customer, I enjoy how I can walk into the store and feel comfortable asking any person wearing the green vest where I could find this item or that and for what situation I was trying to deal with. Not only were they patient and offered useful information, but it was the right information because these people actually knew about their department and suggested on how to tackle certain obstacles. That is what I appreciated the most. You can't find that sort of customer satisfaction whenever you walk into a big-box store where the aisles are long and tall and it seems that whenever you want to chase down someone who works in that department, their only goal in life is to somehow evade you like if though you were caught up in a mouse maze where they only knew the way to find the exit.

I think I'll be supporting Home Depot now as there will no longer be any other mom/pop style store around town (with the exception of Blossom True Value Hardware Store) on El Camino/Shoreline. That's the only place in town where you still can talk to real people in a dedicated hardware store environment. RIP OSH, thanks for the memories and the help you've provided me all these years and I hope the best for the people working there.

24 people like this
Posted by @Neighbor
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Local and independent Los Altos Hardware store also has a very helpful crew and is only about 5 mins drive on a weekend. Straight up Cuesta and park on the curb right in front.

They even lent me a plumbing tool one time because per the guy who helped me, it was expensive and I'd only need it once every 10 years, maybe. They earned a loyal customer with that one.

7 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Such a loss. It is so handy when in the middle of a repair project to be able to get a replacement or a tool without going for or waiting for delivery. The people are helpful too.

On another note, the question will arise as what will replace it. The likelihood is housing, but no public transport means that it will add to traffic in that area.

17 people like this
Posted by J Smith
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 22, 2018 at 5:16 pm

So sad, the MV store was a great store to us, it has so much and everyone was friendly. We bought all kinds of things there, from plants, keys made, appliances and even a Christmas tree. They gave out free tickets to the SJ Giants games which made every game a happy party with lots of kids. The MV store was part of our community. WE WILL MISS THEM.

8 people like this
Posted by Long time MV res.
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2018 at 9:44 pm

Very very sad. I just went in the other day after a long absence and remembered how much I love that store. Dang it.

14 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 22, 2018 at 10:19 pm

psr is a registered user.

So very sad. I am a third generation OSH customer and my father and grandfather were customers before me. They have been around as long as most people here can remember. We didn't say we were going to the hardware store. We said we were going to Orchard Supply.

I was recently going through some of my father's old papers and found a receipt for some farm supplies from OSH that were purchased by my grandfather. The receipt was from the 1950s and was from the San Jose store near downtown. The "address" on the document said it was near the viaduct and also had the old Cypress phone number. I can testify they they really were used in our apricot orchard.

Now all that is left are the big box places with people who know less about hardware than I do. I will have to depend on YouTube videos instead of their personal advice. Not all change is "better". They will be missed.

Like this comment
Posted by BarbJ
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2018 at 10:30 pm

When I go in to OSH with my grandsons, they are fourth-generation OSH loyalists, but it's true that the quality of service, selection, and - especially - knowledge and live people on the floor has been abysmally poor the past few years. And their pricing is ridiculous - when it's correct. Every time I go in there, there's always something that rings up at 40%, 60%, and occasionally 100% higher than the listed price. It's been kind of a shambles for years now.

Still - I'm sorry to see it go. Lowe's has no customer service at all, and Home Depot isn't much better. Besides, they're the only place I've ever been able to find flats of 8-Ball squash in the Spring.

5 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2018 at 9:47 am

I agree that it's sad that OSH is going away, but according to this Mercury News article OSH itself (not Lowes) lost $65 million on $600 million in sales. While I'm sure Lowes' problems certainly contributed to its decision, this isn't strictly a story about a big business buying a smaller one only to shut it down.

Web Link

5 people like this
Posted by OSH shopper
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 23, 2018 at 10:15 am

Growing up around here, we all came to depend on OSH for our needs and had our favorite OSH clerks to helps us out. OSH lost me when they did their remodel turning a hardware store into a home decor boutique with too many displays of holiday items.

I always liked their outside garden department. Often little birds were in there, especially around the bird seed shelves. When the OSH opened at Lohman's in Sunnyvale, their garden area was enclosed. I still heard birds, but I couldn't see them. I commented to the clerk about the birds and she said they were a recording. Now that is sad.

3 people like this
Posted by Great example
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 23, 2018 at 11:38 am

... of why Lowes shouldn’t have been allowed to purchase OSH. Lowes has the purchasing power and economy of scales to make OSH competitive. Instead, they raised prices repeatedly. They basically priced OSH right out of business.

I used to shop at OSH frequently. But the prices in the last few tears have been very high.

Sad to see OSH closing, but not surprising since the Sunnyvale store was already on the chopping block.

3 people like this
Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 23, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

I'm pretty bummed that OSH is closing. But don't forget Bruce Bauer Lumber. They have a pretty good hardware section. I wish their hours were better, but I can walk there and they usually have the parts I need.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Old vs New
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 23, 2018 at 2:14 pm

How to tell an old time Mountain View resident from a newbie...

If you remember Handyman/Grant Road Plaza (now Nob Hill) or Anrad's on El Camino Real, you are an old timer.

5 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 23, 2018 at 3:56 pm

It's unfortunate that this Bay Area institution is going away. The death warrant was signed when OSH went "employee owned". It was just a matter of time after that.

The Lowe's purchase was simply a matter of keeping someone else from buying them and competing for market share. They never had any intention of keeping them open.

8 people like this
Posted by Kelly
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 23, 2018 at 11:53 pm

OSH has been part of the "Silicon Valley" when the whole valley was covered with Orchards, ranches, farms, and canneries as the "The Valley of The Heart's Delight". Orchard Supply, hello?! Why do you think there are still fruit and nut trees growing here and there, a shopping mall name The Pruneyard, or street names like Blossom Hill, Little Orchard, or Fruitvale. Come on people, we should look back at our history, and save what little we have to show what the valley was like and can be for the next generations to come.

2 people like this
Posted by SadthatOSHclosing
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2018 at 8:40 am

SadthatOSHclosing is a registered user.

I always enjoyed trips to OSH at Mtn View- they had good size parking lot & friendly service . I also liked that it was next to Michael's as if couldn't find something at one, often found it at the other. Sorry to hear that OSH is closing.

1 person likes this
Posted by Mike Laursen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 24, 2018 at 1:06 pm

I'm going to miss OSH. I hope the excellent store manager (I feel bad that I don't know his name) finds a good job at Lowe's or elsewhere.

The irony of the closure is that I'm sure most of my business will now go to Home Depot, not Lowe's. And I'll go to Bruce Bauer; it's a little intimidating to shop at a place that is set up more for contractors, but the Bruce Bauer staff are very knowledgeable and tolerant of do-it-yourself'ers questions.

MVFlyer, I didn't even think of the train calendars until you mentioned them. I always rush to OSH every year to get mine.

9 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2018 at 2:49 pm

I work at a orchard supply in san jose, we heard about the closing last minute,like the day before Lowes made their offical annoucement. Lowes said that they would give us priority on getting a job at Lowes. When we went to see about getting a job there after Orchard closes down, they told us they could give us only part time cashiers jobs, which is not even my department! I am an assistant manager! Thats a slap in the face. I'll never shop at Lowes ever, going to Ace hardware or last resort Home depot.For my future hardware needs. Lowes doesn't care about the little guy, only profits. Well so much for customer service as we knew, a new era of Big Box find stuff on your own.

1 person likes this
Posted by haroon
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 9, 2018 at 8:34 pm

Very sad to see OSH going away. For many years we enjoyed the friendly staff showing us where to find things, how to fix things, what are alternatives and so on. You go to the big box Lows or Home Depot, good luck finding anything, leave alone getting some advice. I was at Home depot last week looking for a simple fitting, there was no one around. I asked the customer service to call someone to help, waited almost an hour, still no one to help, finally I left. Home depot has everything but good luck if you are looking for something for a do it yourself type of project.

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