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Orchard Supply closing by year’s end
Orchard Supply
All of the 99 Orchard Supply Hardware locations across the country will be closing by year’s end, including the Turlock store on Geer Road. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal

Longtime Turlock business Orchard Supply Hardware will shutter its doors for good at the end of the year as part of a nationwide closure, its parent company Lowe’s announced Wednesday.

The decision to close all 99 OSH stores, which are located throughout California, Oregon and Florida, comes just five years after home-improvement retail titan Lowe’s purchased most of the shops out of bankruptcy following separation from the chain’s former owner, Sears Holdings Corp.

According to Lowe’s, a “strategic reassessment” of OSH locations led the company to exit operations with the smaller chain to instead focus on its core home improvement business.

“While it was a necessary business decision to exit Orchard Supply Hardware, decisions that impact our people are never easy,” Lowe’s president and CEO Marvin R. Ellison said in a statement.

Turlock’s OSH location employs 45 people according to City of Turlock Director of Economic Development and Housing Maryn Pitt. Turlock has partnered with Stanislaus County’s Department of Workforce Development in order to ensure that those formerly employed by OSH have access to resources that will help them find new jobs, though some will be accepting new positions within the Lowe’s organization.

“Some may choose to do that and some may not, but we’ve got options for them,” Pitt said. “We’re sensitive to that and want to continue to make sure people who live here and work here are employed in a secure job.”

In the past, anchor store locations that have closed down in Turlock shopping centers, such as Albertson’s and Mervyn’s, have remained vacant for quite some time. However, circumstances for each instance were unique and included tough economic times, Pitt said.

She doesn’t expect this to be the case once OSH closes, as the shopping center on the corner of Geer Road and Monte Vista Avenue should attract plenty of potential tenants; however, the timeline depends on the property owner’s lease terms.

“There are all kinds of national tenants who are in expansion mode,” Pitt said, adding that the shopping center’s location across the street from Stanislaus State is desirable among stores. “It would be a big draw having 10,000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 right across the street.”

Though there haven’t been any talks yet as to what store will replace OSH when the time comes, Pitt said she could see tenants along the likes of a largescale book, grocery or electronic store going into the space eventually.

“We could look at all kinds of different options,” she said. “We’ve updated our economic development strategic plan and have a clear idea of our primary market area, which has now grown to about 300,000 people.”

OSH is expected to close at the end of the fiscal year, and liquidation sales at the store began on Thursday.