First it was a hardware store, then another hardware store, then a grocery, and now this North Tacoma building has been returned to its nuts-and-bolts, lumber-and-tools, plants-and-paint roots.
First it was a Pay ’n Pak, then an Ernst, then Saar’s, and now – today at 7 a.m. – Renton-based McLendon Hardware will open its seventh outlet at 1015 N. Pearl St.
Shoppers can expect a few features not available at larger, or smaller, hardware stores.
There’s a house within the store – an 1,100-square foot, two-story Project House displaying several varieties of lighting, flooring and interior paint, as well as cutouts in the walls to expose plumbing fixtures fit to educate any level of DIY enthusiast.
There’s “Pop’s Workshop,” where customers can have keys made, pipe threaded, lumber sliced or glass cut to size.
And then there’s Murray Pallat, who walked in a few weeks ago to speak with store manager Sandy Simmons. He was looking for a job. He said he had experience in the hardware business.
“I came out of retirement and waited for my dream job where I can walk to work,” he said. “I have a large family that I help to support.”
Murray started in the business at age 12, sweeping the floor at Fortunoff’s Hardware in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I offered him a job on the spot,” said Simmons.
Back in 1937, among other things, Murray was selling customers jugs of lamp kerosene.
And customers can buy kerosene today at McLendon’s. That, and about 65,000 other items ranging from patio furniture and pink flamingoes to toilet seats and fungicides, from shovels and picks to galvanized buckets and tubs, from light bulbs and crowbars to ladders, sheet rock, rose food, wood screws and two-by-fours.
And the kitchen sink.
Although the company operates outlets in nearby Puyallup and Sumner, it has taken McLendon the 87 years since its founding to open a Tacoma store. “We selected Tacoma because we had a lot of customers asking when we were coming,” said Bruce Stevens, the company’s marketing director.
“We’ve done a lot of research,” he said. “We did a profile of customers over the entire Puget Sound region. For this market (we expect) Gig Harbor commuters, and the North End of Tacoma has a lot of older homes.”
In the company’s six previous locations, Stevens said, “we’ve been invaded by Lowe’s and Home Depot. This is the first market we’ve gone into where they already are.”
“We haven’t opened a store for 13 years,” said Simmons. “Now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s game time. It’s jitterbugs.”
What: Soft opening of Tacoma store begins today at 7 a.m.
Where: 1015 N. Pearl St.
Interior: 44,000 square feet
Inventory items: 65,000
Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
Other locations: Kent, Puyallup, Renton, Sumner, White Center, Woodinville
What you don’t see at every hardware store: Out front, McLendon offers two Blink charging stations for electric cars.C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535 email@example.com