HARDWARE STORES

Eight OSH stores begin liquidation march

BY HBSDealer Staff

Great American Group is handling liquidation sales at eight Orchard Supply Hardware locations.

The eight stores, located in Citrus Heights, Fairfield, Huntington Beach, Lone Tree, Long Beach, Midtown, Newark and Vacaville, were approved for liquidation as part of the company’s First Day Motions after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was acquired by Lowe’s as part of an initial stalking-horse bid.

Great American Group won the bidding process to manage the store closing sales and has been managing the eight locations since June 29.

"We are offering significant discounts on every item in every department, so consumers will have the opportunity to purchase quality hardware supplies at a discount," said Scott Carpenter, president of Great American Group’s Retail Division, in a statement. "Customers will also receive top-notch service and expert advice from the sales people Orchard customers already know and trust as operations wind down in these locations."

Under the plan, Orchard will maintain its brand and management structure throughout the remainder of its existing locations.

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OSH delisted: End of a brief era

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Orchard Supply Hardware brand will carry on as a division of Lowe’s, but the ticker symbol will not.

The NASDAQ Stock Market removed Orchard’s class A common stock from listing on the market Wednesday, marking the end of a brief era for the OSH ticker symbol.

After the San Jose, Calif.-based retailer spun off from Sears Holdings in June 2011, its shares hit the market in January 2012. On day one, shares of OSH closed at $23.55. About 16 months later, the share price was $0.30. “Orchard expects that the company’s equity holders will experience a complete loss of their investment as a result of Orchard’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings,” the company said in a press release Wednesday.

Back in February of 2012, CEO Mark Baker described the retailer’s mid-size store layout (42,000 sq. ft. to 75,000 sq. ft.) as a sort of merger between big store breadth of product and small-store service to customer. “We’re not a small big box, but a really big small box,” he said.

But losses mounted. The company had earnings of $8.7 million in 2010, but swung to a net loss of $118.4 million in 2012.

Orchard’s class A common stock will continue to trade on OTC Markets under the symbol OSHWQ.

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Nebraska hardware vet celebrates 70-year run

BY HBSDealer Staff

Not paying attention to big-box competitors seems to have worked out well for 85-year-old Walt Wenzl, who recently celebrated his 70th year working for Wenzl Hardware Store in Nebraska City. He has owned and operated the independent hardware store since 1954, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

More than 200 people gathered to celebrate the landmark anniversary at Wenzl Hardware. Wenzl has built up a loyal following over the years thanks to strong community ties and a knack for idiosyncracy.

Built 149 years ago, the two-story building is a relic in itself, still featuring a vintage hand-operated elevator and a collection of antiques lining the top shelves. The mini museum includes a 1903 Flexible Flyer sled, butter churn, pleat-making device and Wenzl’s old baseball mit and smoking implements.

As of yet, Wenzl has no plans to retire. "I’ve been here 70 years, and I’ve enjoyed it," he told the news source. "It keeps me out of the beer joints."

 

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