Coast to Coast Hardware - Life in America

26 Jan 2022

Brothers Arthur Maurice and Louis Melamed founded the Minneapolis based Coast to Coast hardware store in 1928 Despite its name Coast to Coast was primarily found in the midwest Even though the nation was in a worldwide economic depression the chain grew and It boomed after World War II At its peak it had 1 200 stores in 26 states Coast to Coast made it as far east as Ohio and as far west as California What made Coast to Coast unique was standardization The stores had a set layout 12 departments inventory determined by the central office and a limited number of brands to improve turnover It was a franchise but it behaved like a chain Coast to Coast was an all-in-one hardware store It was a place people could buy appliances bicycles sports gear garden supplies auto parts and many more items that one would not typically associate with hardware stores today They were the places that people went to for advice on what color to paint their house to sharpen their ice skates and to dream about owning that Schwinn bicycle on display in the front window In 1983 Coast to Coast started opening larger home improvement stores to try and compete with other up and coming hardware stores such as Central Hardware and Payless Cashways But Coast to Coast s transition wasn t successful By 1990 Coast to Coast had lost 200 stores and was in bankruptcy In July 1990 Servistar purchased Coast to Coast Stores The combined company operated stores under both names and both company s revenue grew However the threat of larger competitors still loomed By the mid-1990s small hardware stores were beginning to disappear in favor of big box stores such as Lowes Menards and Home Depot By the turn of the century the small-town hardware store was nearly a thing of the past In July 1997 Servistar Coast to Coast merged with Cotter Company the parent company of True Value That was the end of the Coast to Coast brand as the combined company rebranded its stores under the True Value name Some old former Coast to Coast locations still have their old signage but officially they are all True Value stores today

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