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|Traded as||NYSE: HBI|
|Products||lumber, tools, hardware, garden supplies & plants|
Robert J. McNulty and George Handgis founded the chain as a warehouse club called the HomeClub, opening the first two stores in Norwalk and Fountain Valley, California in 1983. It went public in 1985, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol HBI.
In 1985 it was acquired by Zayre, a Framingham, Massachusetts-based discount department store chain. After Zayre was acquired by Ames, HomeClub was spun off under a new company called Waban Inc., which also owned BJ's Wholesale Club. In 1991 it discontinued its membership program and adopted the HomeBase name shortly thereafter.
The chain expanded to 89 stores by the mid-1990s, becoming the sixth largest home improvement retailer in the United States. Although it outperformed competitors like Orchard Supply Hardware and Builders Square, it could not match the growth or pricing power of The Home Depot or Lowe's. On December 5, 2000, after several dramatically unprofitable years, it announced that 67 stores would be converted to a home decorating superstore chain, House2Home, and the remainder closed. House2Home would fare no better and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 7, 2001 and was subsequently liquidated in early 2002.
- "Hardware wars heating up in Los Angeles, Orange Counties," Los Angeles Business Journal, August 2, 1999
- Canlen, Brae, "HomeBase seeks new shelter from competitive storm," Home Channel News, January 8, 2001.