DEFUNCT Home Improvement Chains

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Groceteria
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DEFUNCT Home Improvement Chains

Post by Groceteria »

Hi all. Through my own error when I was clearing out a very off-topic post, this whole thread was accidentally trashed. It was pretty much the digital equivalent of ""my finger slipped" and it's the first time it's happened. My sincerest apologies.

David
Racefan82

National Lumber

Post by Racefan82 »

I know a lot of people from Southern California will remember this chain of hardware stores. I live down the street from where one once stood. I always liked watching the commercials with Shorty and Cheap Chicken. And I like that some are on YouTube. I always liked going there when I was a kid, and was sad when it closed down. I actually have done research on it off and on the last couple of years to see what happened. Basically, and I know a lot of people know this, it just lost to the competition. It's really sad, if you think about it, because it was a part of Southern California for years. What I really would like is a picture of one of the old stores. Does anybody have any memories of National Lumber?
Jeff
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Post by Jeff »

Could this be part of long gone specialty chains?

National Lumber I remember a few stores. The one that I recall were in Diamond Bar (now a JoAnn's Fabrics and a recently closed Petsmart). I can't think of any other ones. There was one in San Bernardino, but I cant remember where.
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runchadrun
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National Lumber

Post by runchadrun »

Topics moved in from a standalone thread about National Lumber...
Racefan82 wrote:I know a lot of people from Southern California will remember this chain of hardware stores. I live down the street from where one once stood. I always liked watching the commercials with Shorty and Cheap Chicken. And I like that some are on YouTube. I always liked going there when I was a kid, and was sad when it closed down. I actually have done research on it off and on the last couple of years to see what happened. Basically, and I know a lot of people know this, it just lost to the competition. It's really sad, if you think about it, because it was a part of Southern California for years. What I really would like is a picture of one of the old stores. Does anybody have any memories of National Lumber?
Jeff wrote:Could this be part of long gone specialty chains?

National Lumber I remember a few stores. The one that I recall were in Diamond Bar (now a JoAnn's Fabrics and a recently closed Petsmart). I can't think of any other ones. There was one in San Bernardino, but I cant remember where.
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RandallFlagg
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Post by RandallFlagg »

There was a location in Ontario just below the 60 freeway. The last time I was by there it was still a Sears Appliance outlet. There was also a location on Sierra in Fontana. It was on the east side of the street. I don't remember the cross street, but it was north of Kaiser Hospital. From what I can remember about National Lumber, the original founder kept the Cat city location and gave control of the rest of the chain to his son. His son did his best to drive the company into the ground.
lvkewlkid
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Post by lvkewlkid »

Does anyone know the location that Von Tobel's Hardware operated in and what they are now?

I think that 4440 East Tropicana, Las Vegas is a former Von Tobel's, then became a call center, and is now a swap meet...

Also, I heard that at Decatur and Meadows, where Fallas Paredes is located is where a Von Tobel's was...Can anyone confirm this and identify other locations?
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submariner
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Post by submariner »

Another one I remember from my childhood in SoCal was Builders Emporium, which was owned by Wickes. I've seen but never been inside a Wickes Lumber, but I think they were basically the east/west coast variations on Wickes' home improvement opersations, am I correct?
marshd1000
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Post by marshd1000 »

I have never been in a Von Tobel's store but I know that for a few years they were part of the Ernst-Malmo Home and Nursery division of the Pay 'n Save Corporation. I know that after Pay 'n Save was bought out by investors, it was split up. So I am wondering how long the Ernst stores kept Von Tobel's before Ernst itself went bankrupt.

In fact, Ernst was the leading home center operator here in the Seattle area with Pay 'n Pak being number 2 for many years. Then Eagle Hardware, which was started by a former exec with Pay 'n Pak, expanded and was eventually acquired by Lowe's. After that Home Depot came in and first Pay 'n Pak folded, then Ernst. It was a shame that Ernst and Pay 'n Pak didn't merge and pool their resources. Just before their demise, they started to erect larger stores closer to the size of Home Depot. In fact a one of the newer Pay 'n Pak stores in Kent, WA became a Ernst for awhile. But I think it was too little, too late.

Ernst had most of it's stores in shopping centers anchored by other Pay 'n Save corp stores. Pay 'n Pak had some shopping center stores along with a lot of freestanding stores on smaller plots that didn't lend themselves to expansion in the fashion of Home Depot.
scanman2
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National Lumber

Post by scanman2 »

Wow...another great memory of a long gone store. I remember the shorty and cheap chicken characters too. I'll look up the commercials. I saw somebody post that they saw old tv commercials on you tube. Yes I remember the National Lumber south of the 60 fwy in Ontario. I think off of Vineyard. Yes it is a Sears Outlet that sells floor models of appliances from their stores.
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RandallFlagg
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Post by RandallFlagg »

The only Wicks Lumber I've ever seen or been in was in Ontario when I was a kid. The store was between the railroad tracks that parallel Mission Blvd. and the 163 air national guard base. It was a large outdoor lumber yard with at small office in the center. As a kid it was the only lumber supply in the area with an Angel's home center in Pomona as the other. My dad was with the 163 so we would shop there often. It was on Archibald south of the Ontario Airport. It closed down many years ago in one of the companies reorganizations I believe.
TenPoundHammer
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Post by TenPoundHammer »

Since we're counting lumberyards here (apparently we are, since someone mentioned Wickes), I thought I'd add two from Michigan.

One that I remember was Wolohan Lumber; they're still around but in much smaller numbers. Incidentally, it seems they sold some locations to Wickes at some point.

The other is Central Michigan Lumber, which seems to have been dissolved recently. I always found their name odd, since only two of their locations were actually in central Michigan (in fact, at least one wasn't in Michigan at all; seems they had a location in Indiana and another in Ohio).
OldBlueValiant
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Post by OldBlueValiant »

Another defunct lumber yard/home improvement chain is San Lorenzo Lumber which ran several stores in the Monterey Bay region. The hardware sections of the stores had merchandise mostly supplied by Ace Hardware. The small chain was sold out to Lumberman's a few years back.
umtrr-author
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Post by umtrr-author »

Wegmans closed its Chase-Pitkin Home Improvement Center chain down in 2005, citing competition from national chains. I don't think that they were wrong; I remember just about everything costing more at Chase-Pitkin than at those other two big boxes.

They had purchased Bilt-Rite Chase Pitkin in 1974 according to the Wegmans web page:

http://www.wegmans.com/about/history/index.asp
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buckhead
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Post by buckhead »

TenPoundHammer wrote:Since we're counting lumberyards here (apparently we are, since someone mentioned Wickes), ....
Actually, Wickes back in its day, also operated full-line home improvement stores as well, much like some of the Lowe's stores built in the late 80's and early 90's. A few were near Wickes Furniture stores. Wickes even sold agricultural products such as dried legumes at one time as well to grocery retailers.


[Edited to correct reference to Wickes Furniture stores and agricultural products sales from erroneous Lowe's references.]
Last edited by buckhead on 31 Dec 2007 21:57, edited 1 time in total.
Toby Radloff
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Post by Toby Radloff »

Defunct home improvement chains in OH include Forest City Materials, which was once a division of real estate developer/home builder Forest City Enterprises, which is still very much in business. Forest City Enterprises sold the Forest City home improvement stores to Chicago-based Handy Andy, in which the stores were renamed. The chain folded in the early 1990's. Another local chain was DIY Home Warehouse, which sort of filled the void when Forest City/Handy Andy folded. DIY started in the early 1980's and folded in the early 2000's. At the time, the only other home improvement store competition in the Cleveland area was Builders Square, which came here in the mid-1980's and folded in the late 1990's. Home Depot and Lowe's didn't come to NE OH until the early to mid 1990's. For years, Forest City, and later, DIY, had pretty much a monopoly in NE OH when it came to big-box home improvement stores. Forest City also sold TV's, stereo systems, and appliances at their stores, long before Home Depot and Lowe's started carrying appliances. However, Forest City went out of the TV and appliance business several years before the Handy Andy takeover.
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