PORT ANGELES — Sunset Do It Best Hardware closed Friday after 40 years in Port Angeles.
Owners Bill and Fred Hermann said they are retiring from retail, but not from their logging and construction business.
The hardware store at 518 Marine Drive was transferred to Platypus Marine as part of a three-business shake-up that a statement from the companies said streamlines operations, retains local jobs and stimulates growth.
Lumber Traders Inc., Platypus Marine Inc., and Sunset Wire Rope Co., Inc., will transfer some of their operations and real estate to each other in a series of exchanges and moves that will occur over the next several months, said Jim Haguewood, Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce board president.
Here are the moves as announced last week:
• Lumber Traders, which operates both Hartnagel Building Supply and Angeles Millwork & Lumber Company, will expand to include the retail hardware business of Sunset Do It Best Hardware, now owned by Bill and Fred Hermann.
• Sunset Do It Best will transfer to Platypus Marine, as the Sunset retail operations and employees will move to Lumber Traders’ current stores.
• Platypus Marine will consolidate its offices to the Sunset location, including areas for equipment and supply storage. Platypus has completed an environmental cleanup for a new marine trades operations building across Marine Drive from the Sunset store.
• Hermann Brothers Logging & Construction Inc., or Hermann Bros, will continue to expand its trucking operations, having recently acquired Atlas Trucking Inc. Hermann Bros also runs a large forest products business.
Sunset Do It Best Hardware opened in 1979.
“After 40 years, it’s time for Fred and I to retire from the retail portion of the business,” Bill Hermann said in a Friday interview.
“It’s just time to do something different.”
The 17 employees at Sunset were offered jobs at Angeles Millwork and Hartnagels.
“We found homes for almost all of them,” Bill Hermann said.
Said Kelly Fox, CEO of Lumber Traders: “Angeles Millwork and Hartnagels can build on the legacy of Sunset by bringing the strength of their people and products into our stores.”
“Platypus has the room they need to grow and Hermann Brothers gets to put their energy into expanding operations,” Fox said in a Wednesday statement.
“Qualified employees have been at a premium over the last few years for our stores. Adding the talented people from Sunset will increase the knowledge inventory of our employee owned stores to make our service that much better.”
The Sunset employees who join Angeles Millwork and Hartnagels will begin sharing in the ownership of Lumber Traders, Inc. on the normal vesting schedule, Fox said.
Bill Hermann said the transfer maintains the strength of the local business community.
“I finally figured out a way to offer the pieces of Sunset to various local stores who are very well established and successful, and to help them have more opportunity to grow their business rather than selling it to someone who would just compete against them,” Hermann said in a telephone interview.
Judson Linnabary, president of Platypus Marine, Inc., said the purchase of Sunset will allow for “combined and greatly improved offices for our staff.”
“The new property will also provide additional parking for our workers as we plan for new production capabilities in Port Angeles,” Linnabary said in the joint statement.
Marc Abshire, Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director, described the transactions as “great news” for the companies.
“It’s about growth, really, and putting strengths where they belong, and aligning the strengths of the businesses so that they’re more poised for growth,” Abshire said in a Thursday interview.
“It had to be a three-way deal, and it worked out really great.”
Hermann Brothers was named 2018 business of the year by the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Haguewood said the expansions and moves by the three companies are “indicative of our strong economy and their confidence in the future.”
“All three of these companies have impressive leadership teams,” Haguewood said in the joint statement.
“The creativity and vision among them to make this happen is marvelous. This type of transaction is positive for our local economy that will streamline operations, retains and creates local jobs, and stimulates further growth.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].