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TOPICS / BUSINESS : Hardware Chain Moves Into Area

March 31, 1994|ANDREW LePAGE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp. will open stores in Pasadena and South Pasadena this spring, filling voids in the west San Gabriel Valley's home improvement market created by the closing of the Builders Emporium chain.

San Jose-based Orchard Supply plans to open its Pasadena store on East Colorado Boulevard on April 30 and its South Pasadena store on Fair Oaks Avenue on May 14.

The new stores are two of six that are scheduled to open in the Los Angeles area by mid-May, marking Orchard Supply's entrance in the Southern California market. The 63-year-old publicly held company now has 43 stores in Central and Northern California. The Southland stores are all opening in former Builders Emporium stores, which have an average of about 35,000 square feet of retail floor space.

Builders Emporium decided last August to pull the plug on its 82 California retail outlets. The company's sales had been battered by the Southland's housing slump and by increasing competition from warehouse-style stores such as Home Depot.

Orchard Supply officials say Home Depot is formidable competition for them, too, but point out that the two chains have different emphases. Orchard Supply specializes in tools and "fix-it" electrical and plumbing hardware, while Home Depot carries more building materials for new construction. Orchard Supply doesn't carry lumber, which represents a large portion of Home Depot's business.

The Pasadena and South Pasadena Orchard Supply stores will each create an estimated 125 jobs, paying from $6 to $12.50 an hour, a company spokesman said.

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