San Marcos will soon be the first North County home to OSH – formally known as Orchard Supply Hardware. The 86-year-old boutique home center chain has been centered primarily in the Bay Area, with 91 locations as far south as Orange County.
Customers describe Orchard Supply Hardware as larger in square footage than a typical Ace or True Value hardware store and more upscale. For example, OSH sells Bob’s Best Cow Manure, made from Point Reyes, CA dairy farm compost. But the stores are not as overwhelming as the big-box Lowe’s or Home Depot. The county’s first OSH opened in La Mesa in December of last year.
To be located in the former Sports Chalet building at the Grand Plaza shopping center on Las Posas Road, the 40,000-square-foot store is expected to open around June 29, said an on-site construction supervisor.
Started in 1931 in the San Jose area, the chain was originally a co-op formed by depression-era farmers to help save money on feed, seeds, and supplies. After several owners floundered with the onslaught of competition from big box home improvement centers, Sears purchased the chain in 1996.
What most Orchard Supply Hardware customers may not know is that Lowe’s now owns the chain. However branded gardening tools, building supplies, etc., only carry the OSH label. In a 2013 Chapter 13 reorganization by Sears/Kmart, Lowe’s was able to pick up the entire chain in bankruptcy court, and as been operating it as a separate subsidiary.
Beside the San Diego area, OSH is expanding into Oregon and Florida – the southeast coast being the corporate home of Lowe’s.
In 2015, it was San Marcos that welcomed other retail firsts – San Diego County’s first Hobby Lobby and WinCo Foods locations that coincidently occupied the space in the Creekside Marketplace center that was vacated by Lowe’s in 2014.