Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: A Pay ‘N Pak prototype

In 1991, the Kent, Wash.-based chain unveiled a showroom atmosphere.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Aug. 5, 1991 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, featured an in-depth look at the store layout of Pay ‘N Pak’s new 44,000 sq. ft. prototype in Pulluyup, Wash.

The big idea, and central element was the appearance of a custom-design showroom.

“A racetrack around the store encompasses a showroom featuring such specialty items as custom kitchen and bath products, wallpaper, window treatments, flooring and fabric for special-order bedspreads,” the article reported. “Circling the design center are expanded product displays found in other Pay ‘N Pak units, such as lighting and electricals, kitchen and bath, hardware, paint, lawn and garden, storage and home decor.”

Pay ‘N Pak’s checkout area in 1991.

Roger Graham was the chain’s design consultant manager. “Every scope of the store supports this design center, he said, as he stood in the central area.

Graham was a big part of the story. He was hired to supervise 25 professional interior designers who staffed the location before they were sent out to work in other stores in the Puget Sound area.

The story appeared under the headline: “Pay ‘N Pak prototype reveals new image: customer design center.”

“The fashion design approach makes the store a more pleasant place to shop,” said Tim Lucia, senior VP of marketing.

Despite the effort to revitalize its stores, Pay ‘N Pak was effectively out of business a year later in 1992.


HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact


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