Earlier this week, employees at San Francisco's lone outlet of Orchard Supply Hardware, at 2598 Taylor St. in North Beach, learned that the company is permanently closing its doors.
The move comes as parent company Lowe's announced the closure of all 99 Orchard Supply Hardware locations in California, Oregon and Florida, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The move will affect approximately 4,000 employees.
Veteran Hoodline tipster Al M. was in the neighborhood and spoke to a few employees on-site at the North Beach store, who told him that a storewide liquidation sale would begin next week, lasting through the first part of November.
Al said the employees were caught off-guard when they learned about the closure. At the time of his visit, a banner could still be seen hanging from the store's awning, indicating it's "now hiring happy people."
When the Orchard store debuted in North Beach in 2015, 68 percent of its employees were San Francisco residents. The Bay Area-based company was originally founded in San Jose in 1931.
“While it was a necessary business decision to exit Orchard Supply Hardware, decisions that impact our people are never easy,” said Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison in a statement about the closures. “We will be providing outplacement services for impacted associates, and they will be given priority status if they choose to apply for other Lowe’s positions.”
However, as of yesterday, there were only 473 openings at all California Lowe's stores, 360 in Florida and 82 in Oregon, compared to the 4,000 job losses at Orchard stores, according to the Mercury News.
According to Ellison, 86 percent of soon-to-close Orchard stores are located within a 10-mile radius of a Lowe's. Lowe's only San Francisco outpost is located at 491 Bayshore Blvd. in Bayview/Hunters Point—a 6.2-mile trip, but one that crosses nearly the entire city of San Francisco.
Part of the decision to close Orchard's operations stems from the original move to purchase the Bay Area-based chain five years ago, which Ellison said may not have been the "most prudent use of capital," as the "business was just not running well."
North Beach, Telegraph Hill and Fisherman's Wharf residents still have one remaining hardware store option in the neighborhood: Cole Hardware, which debuted in North Beach in early 2017.
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