Harbor Freight Tools to Open Location in Yelm

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Harbor Freight Tools plans to open a new location in Yelm, with a targeted soft opening set for late December, followed by a grand opening at the beginning of 2022.

The planned location is in the Nisqually Plaza at 906 E. Yelm Ave. The business will add 25 to 30 jobs into the Yelm employment market.

For more than 40 years, Harbor Freight Tools has prided itself in being America’s go-to source for affordable tools, said Craig Hoffman, director of corporate communications and content for Harbor Freight Tools.

“Our stores stock a full selection of tools and equipment in categories including automotive, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, hand tools and much more,” Hoffman said.

With more than 1,200 locations nationwide, the company opens an average of two new locations every week, he said.

Harbor Freight Tools has been wanting to open a location in Yelm for quite some time, Hoffman said.

“This will be our third location in Thurston County and our 31st in Washington,” he said. “Right now, for our customers in the community who want to shop at Harbor Freight, they either have to drive about 12 miles to Lacey or 16 miles to Lakewood, so this will be much more convenient for them.”

At 13,946 square feet, the Nisqually Plaza location will be smaller than the other “big box” stores the company is usually classified with, Hoffman said.

“We consider that a competitive advantage. Many of our customers are professional tradespeople, so being able to park, come in quickly, locate the tools they need easily and then head on to their jobsite or shop is important to them,” he said. “For all our customers, that size (of) store is also easier to browse.”

While Harbor Freight Tools is a national company, it considers itself a local business, Hoffman said. With community being one of its core values, he said the company looks forward to becoming an active and involved member of Yelm’s marketplace.

Harbor Freight Tools was founded in southern California in 1977, when 17-year-old Eric Smidt began transforming his father’s small phone sales business into a successful mail-order company, Hoffman said. Smidt bypassed the resellers and dealt directly with factories, later passing the savings on to the customer base.

“Harbor Freight prides itself on being the best place to work in retail, offering highly competitive salaries, great benefits and the opportunity for advancement in one of the fastest growing companies in retail,” Hoffman said.

Those interested in applying for a job can go online to www.harborfreightjobs.com/retail and search “Yelm, WA.”

“We’re excited to start serving our customers in and around Yelm,” Hoffman said.

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