Washington Gordon opened the doors of The Gordon Lumber Company in Oak Harbor 152 years ago. What began as a sawmill perched on the banks of the Portage River, where oak grown throughout the Midwest was shipped around the world, Gordon Lumber grew into six home centers and lumberyards.
Last week, Gordon Lumber announced that it would be closing three of its four Ohio retail locations in Port Clinton, Huron and its corporate offices in Fremont. All of its operations will now be based at the store location in Genoa.
“It is a move toward simplicity,” said President Erin Leonard, in a telephone interview on Monday. “The world is changing, and the economy of a bunch of small lumber yards won’t work. With the changes we’re making, we’ll still be valuable with all of our capabilities.”
The Fremont and Huron stores are being closed immediately.
“All of our extra inventory will be moved to Port Clinton, which will be the liquidation center for all of our inventory until the end of the summer construction season in October,” said Leonard.
Gordon Lumber will focus on its growing contractor services.
“After careful consideration of changes in marketplace trends and practices, The Board of Directors and management team for Gordon have decided to focus our company’s attention solely on supporting the needs of construction industry representatives, such as builders, contractors and remodelers,” said Leonard. “We make this change from a position of industry strength and following years of increasing professional sales and services.”
Gordon Lumber is expecting to lay off 15 employees by the end of the year. The company building industry sales will continue to grow as individual consumers gravitate to buying home improvement products from chain retailers.