Throwback Thursday: Tool Fair at Ganahl

Ganahl Lumber’s fifth annual Home Fix-Up and Tool Fair hit Anaheim in 1985.

Ganahl Lumber's Peter Ganahl, in 1985.

The July 1, 1985 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, reported on the effort of a successful Southern California lumber dealer to boost its reach with DIYers.

Ganahl Lumber, which was a four-unit chain at the time, erected a yellow and white tent in the front of its main entrance in Anaheim, and hosted vendors representing hand tools, power tools, door and window systems, stains and fasteners, among other products

The strategy behind the Tool Fair, according to the article, was to “Boost recognition of the independent’s ability to serve the building-materials, project-oriented DIYer.”

In the article, Ganahl President Peter Ganahl said the special event “makes our registers ring.”

The year 1985 also marked the entry of Home Depot into Orange County. Ganahl Lumber was able to not only survive the invasion of Home Depot, but also thrive against competitors including HomeClub, Builders Emporium and National Lumber. Today, the company operates nine California locations, and plans to open a South Bay unit in July.

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