Home Hardware Stores co-founder Walter Hachborn dies at 95 - Macleans.ca
 

Home Hardware Stores co-founder Walter Hachborn dies at 95

Hachborn and two partners started Home Hardware as a co-operative for independent hardware stores in 1964


 

Walter Hachborn, co-founder of Home Hardware Stores and member of the Order of Canada, has died, he was 95.

A statement from Home Hardware says Hachborn died Saturday, but does not give any further details.

Hachborn and two partners started the co-operative for independently owned and operated hardware stores in 1964.

It now has nearly 1,100 stores under its banners, which include Home Hardware, Home Building Centre and Home Furniture.

Hachborn started his career in hardware sales in 1938, when he worked as a stockboy in St. Jacobs, Ont., earning $8 per week, according to Home Hardware Stores.

By 1950, he would be a co-owner of that store with Henry Sittler and Arthur Zilliax.

Fourteen years later, the trio founded the co-operative out of the back of their St. Jacobs, Ont., store.

Because of the coalition, dealer-owned and operated retailers were able to share buying power and expand advertising in a tumultuous time for the hardware industry, the company said.

“More than 1,000 hardware stores closed in Canada between 1955 and 1965 because they couldn’t compete with the mass merchandisers,” Hachborn told The Canadian Press in 1999, after being named Canada’s hardware retailer of the century. “I thought there had to be an answer.”

He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2000, and three years later received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

In 2007, he won the Retail Council of Canada’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame early last year.

Home Hardware Stores says Hachborn retired from day-to-day operations in 1988, but he held the title of President Emeritus until his death.


 
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