Harbor Freight Tools: Quality is our Obsession

September 14, 2020

Headquartered in Calabasas, California, Harbor Freight Tools is a discount tool and equipment retailer.

In a small building in North Hollywood, California, way back in 1977, Eric Smidt and his father, Allan Smidt, started a company that they called Harbor Freight and Salvage. As a mail-order tool business, the company dealt with liquidated and returned merchandise.

As the business grew, its name was changed to Harbor Freight Tools.

In 1985, at the tender age of 25, Eric Smidt was named president of the company and, in 1999 he became chief executive officer.

 From the mid-1980s to 2010 Harbor Freight was headquartered in Camarillo, California.

In 1980, Harbor Freight Tools opened its first retail store in Lexington, Kentucky,
to sell returned merchandise
from its mail-order business.
Today, there are 1,063 stores in 48 states.

Harbor Freight Tools’ 1,063 Retail Locations

If it’s tools you need, Harbor Freight has 7,000 tools and accessories, including hand tools, generators,
air and power tools, shop equipment, log splitters, chain saws, and automotive tools.

In the early 1980s, when Harbor Freight Tools relocated to Camarillo, California, it acquired the former headquarters of Unity, another large mail-order company, and launched its first mail-order catalog in the mid-1980s.

In 1991, Harbor Freight Tools acquired US General Supply Company, another mail-order seller based in Plainview, New York.

At Harbor Freight, Quality is our Obsession
Harbor Freight’s tools are tested in state-of-the-art labs, putting them through grueling tests that go far beyond normal use. The end result is that their tools perform to professional standards.

Harbor Freight Tools, Green Brook, New Jersey

Harbor Freight Tools offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, no-hassle return policy and a lifetime warranty on all hand tools.

In 2013 Harbor Freight Tools donated $1.4 million of tools and equipment to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Career Technical Education. Later that year, Harbor Freight Tools donated $100,000 of tools and equipment to South Carolina schools as part of its Tools for Schools program.

In November 2015, the Dillon distribution center was opened. The $75 million expansion project added one million square feet to the facility and 200 new jobs. The company currently employs 20,000 people across 48 states.

In 2018, Eric and Susan Smidt and The Smidt Foundation donated $50 million to
Cedars-Sinai to create the
Smidt Heart Institute.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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