Orchard Supply Hardware’s doors in Goleta will be closing as soon as a liquidation sale clears the shelves of inventory, Jackie Hartzell, company public relations director confirmed, saying faltering sales prompted the shutdown nationwide. Employees were notified of the decision on August 21 at the chain’s 99 stores — mostly in California, Oregon, and Florida — and Hartzell said the company would relocate OSH employees to nearby Lowe’s as possible; Lowe’s acquired OSH in 2013. Employee numbers were not available for the Goleta store, she said, but OSH employed 3,900 people in California, and 4,300 people nationwide.
OSH began as a Depression-era farm cooperative in 1931 with a $30 buy-in by 30, mostly prune, farmers in San José. Orchard Supply became Orchard Supply Hardware in 1962, a reflection of the disappearing fruit orchards, being bulldozed as the post-war electronics industry boomed.
Acquired by Sears Holdings in 1996, OSH was split off in 2012, along with a considerable amount of Sears’ debt. By 2013, OSH filed for Chapter 11 and sold itself to Lowe’s — debts and all. Lowe’s hoped OSH’s prime locations would help it combat hardware giant Home Depot, according to media reports at the time. Hartzell said Lowe’s had no plans for one its big-box stores in Goleta.