CNRG acquires McLendon Hardware

Under new ownership, a seven-store hardware business plans ‘aggressive growth’

McLendon Hardware's Woodinville, Washington, store.

Fourth generation, family-owned McLendon Hardware, a seven-store retailer based in Renton, Washington, has agreed to be acquired by Central Network Retail Group (CNRG).

McLendon Hardware president, Gail McLendon, said the move was inspired by the company’s desire for continued growth throughout the Puget Sound region and beyond.

At present, McLendon employs more than 500 people with stores in Renton, White Center, Tacoma, Woodinville, Kent, Sumner and Puyallup. The Renton store is the largest. It was established in 1926, initially as U.S. Junk Company, and is the longest-standing hardware outpost in Washington state.

“Expert advice, legendary customer service and unmatched product selection have been the hallmarks of McLendon’s success for more than 90 years,” McLendon said. “However, continued if not aggressive growth is essential. CNRG has the financial strength to sustain and expand our business in the Puget Sound Region and beyond.”

The decision to sell McLendons evolved over several years. “Over a lengthy period, McLendon’s looked at many alternatives for keeping our brand culture and legacy intact,” McLendon said. “We were determined to provide stability for our team members and to open new stores.”

CNRG, a  is a multi-format, multi-brand retailer operating 90 hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards in eleven states. CNRG has close ties to Memphis-based distributor Orgill. It was formed in 2011, by Jimmy R. Smith, president of Natchez Home Center and Boyden Moore, president of Tyndale Advisors, a wholly owned subsidiary of Orgill.

McLendon has been operating as a non-branded member of the Ace Hardware co-op.

The transaction is expected to close in April. McLendon’s name will remain the same. The company will continue to be managed by Gail and Mike McLendon and their executive and store manager teams.

CNRG’s Boyden Moore says he is a long-time admirer of McLendon Hardware. The company was looking for expansion in the Pacific Northwest where it currently operates Parkrose Hardware in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to add McLendon Hardware to CNRG. McLendon is well-known and respected throughout the industry for their great stores, service, and team” Moore said. “We will continue to invest in and grow McLendon’s here and perhaps beyond. It is an iconic business that offers customers something that is becoming rare -- expert advice and the broadest selection of hardware items available.”

Since it first opened for business in Renton in 1926, McLendon family members have owned and managed the business. McLendon was honored as an HBSDealer Hardware Store All Star in the inaugural All-Star class of 2011.
 

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