Recession nails House of Tools

The Red Deer outlet of House of Tools has begun a liquidation sale after the parent company recently declared bankruptcy.

House of Tools store manager Lee Miller walks through the store Monday. All stock in the store has been reduced in price by 25%.

House of Tools store manager Lee Miller walks through the store Monday. All stock in the store has been reduced in price by 25%.

The Red Deer outlet of House of Tools has begun a liquidation sale after the parent company recently declared bankruptcy.

Lee Miller, manager of the local store at 6750 52nd Ave., said up to eight people worked at the local store which has been in Red Deer for four years.

The first House of Tools outlet opened in Edmonton in the early 1960s and the chain grew to include 13 outlets in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan, and a warehouse in Calgary. Four of the stores were closed in April, leaving three in B.C., two in Saskatchewan and the rest in Alberta.

Miller said the remaining outlets will be liquidating their inventory over the next few weeks.

“We’ve been told it could be anywhere from four weeks to six weeks; probably, more realistically, four weeks,” he said.

“We’re still getting our inventory in. We’re still adding to the stuff here.”

Miller said everything is 25 per cent off and the liquidation sale is running 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

House of Tools is owned by Oregon-based Western Tool Supply. The parent company filed for bankruptcy June 9 in Oregon, citing plummeting sales, a lack of operating cash and long-term leases that don’t reflect current market rates.

At its peak, the company had 61 stores in 13 states, but the number of outlets had dropped to 32 by the time of the bankruptcy filing.

In Canada, the court order to begin liquidating came on June 16. RSM Richter Inc. was appointed receiver.

“I didn’t think it would get this far,” said Miller, who has been with the company for three years, all of them in Red Deer.

“I knew they were having some financial difficulty,” he added, saying he hoped they would keep going until they got through the current downturn in the next few months.

“They gave up all hope of coming out the other side.”

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Alberta has made a more detailed framework for those looking to acquire an exemption to the mandatory indoor mask bylaw. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Alberta changes requirements for mask exemptions

Masks wearing has been recommended for almost a year and provincially mandated… Continue reading

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

RCMP file photo (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)
RCMP investigating shooting near Maskwacis

Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP are seeking public assistance after a shooting has… Continue reading

Rode
Smith among impressive group of RDC soccer Queens recruits

There have been a number of cases where younger girls have developed… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Opinion
Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, right, drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch, left, and guard Jalen Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

NFL schedules get off to strong starts with Week 1 twinbills

NFL schedules get off to strong starts with Week 1 twinbills

The Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, is shown in Calgary, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The final three games of Canada's Secret Cup women's hockey tournament will be played in Calgary's NHL arena.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Secret Cup women’s tournament final games to be held in Calgary’s Saddledome

Secret Cup women’s tournament final games to be held in Calgary’s Saddledome

FILE - In this Thursday, July 18, 2019 file photo, Ron Francis talks to reporters in Seattle after he was introduced as the first general manager for Seattle's yet-to-be-named NHL hockey expansion team. Four years since George McPhee was a “puppet master” of the NHL leading up to the Vegas expansion draft, general managers approached this trade deadline with Seattle’s upcoming addition to the league in mind. While Kraken GM Ron Francis prepares – and maybe made a handshake deal or two already like McPhee did – Seattle was on his colleagues’ minds.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Kraken still plan to hire coach before expansion draft

Kraken still plan to hire coach before expansion draft

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney attends a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Simmering internal discontent in his United Conservative caucus has boiled over into an open challenge to his leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Two Alberta UCP members kicked out of caucus after challenging Kenney’s leadership

Two Alberta UCP members kicked out of caucus after challenging Kenney’s leadership

Most Read