Alamo Yardbirds closing

Closeout pricing is expected to appear on merchandise at the Alamo Yardbirds store after an announcement today by owner Home Depot that it would be closing its doors by spring.

Home Depot is planning the closures as part of a large scale restructuring that will close down the company's Expo Design Center stores and other Yardbirds. Home Depot spokeswoman Sarah Molinari said they are expecting the closures to take around two months.

Alamo residents in 2006 went through the trauma of the closing of their beloved Yardbirds when it was purchased by Home Depot but store management worked with the residents to reopen the home improvement store in May 2007.

Now the store will be closing along with four other Yardbirds, 34 Expo Design Centers, two Design Center stores and a bath remodeling business known as HD bath, with seven locations.

Elaine Bass, a 55-year resident of Alamo, said the announcement came as a shock as she was shopping at Yardbirds.

"I love this store. We use it all the time," she said. "I'm really disappointed that they're closing it because there isn't another nursery in the area."

Another resident, Sherman Pulcher, said he missed the store the first time it closed and was pleased when Home Depot reopened. Now, the disappointment is back.

Pulcher said losing Yardbirds will be very frustrating for area residents who relied on the store.

"This closing is going to put me back to driving to Crow Canyon (the Home Depot Store on Crow Canyon in San Ramon)," he stated.

Home Depot Chairman and CEO Frank Blake said the closures will affect some 5,000 associates and 2,000 administrative and support level employees. The layoffs represent about 2 percent of the company's workforce.

Officials with the company have declined to say how many employees work at the Alamo store or how many could be absorbed into other Home Depot locations.

Blake said he regretted having to close down the stores, but, "At the same time it is a necessary decision that will strengthen our core Home Depot business."

Blake blamed the economic downturn for the actions, but said that he was pleased that its economic position will still be strong enough to provide severance and bonuses to impacted employees.

Molinari said associates who are not relocated to another store will receive an "enhanced" severance package.

"The associate will receive 60 days of pay and health coverage," she said.

She added that employees currently enrolled in the company's health insurance program will receive a lump sum payment that would allow them to maintain their insurance through COBRA for up to nine months.

She said they are recommending that associates being affected should contact the other stores to see if there are openings.

"They already know our products, they already know our businesses, it would be a natural transition," she explained.

A liquidation firm is being brought in to handle the process of selling off the remaining merchandise at the stores, to handle the workforce reductions as more of the product is gone, and eventually to decide when to close up shop for good.

Other Yardbirds are being closed in Concord, Petaluma, San Pablo and San Rafael. None of the company's "Orange Box" Home Depot stores will be closed in the restructuring.


Posted by Concerned Alamo Person, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 26, 2009 at 11:12 am

WOW...Okay, how about the rest of the story...When are they planning to close?

I can't imagine anyone else waiting on the sidelines to run in and take over. Sad news for the YES to Incorporate Alamo. Losing a heavy sales tax base isn't what a new town needs. Has anyone looked around the Alamo plaza lately...too many empty store's there also.

Hope the other tenants on site have a good lease...I'm sure the property owner is not jumping with joy.

Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 26, 2009 at 1:03 pm

It's something that Walnut Creek residents have been craving for a long time: a downtown hardware store. Walnut Creek Hardware Co. opened this past week on Mount Diablo Boulevard, filling a need among locals who missed a convenient place to pick up just the right nail, pipe, faucet, or cordless power drill.

The 12,500-square foot store, on the site of the former Good Guys, is part of the Ace Hardware cooperative. However, it is independently owned by two long-time Walnut Creek residents, Lee Abramson and Kevin Fisher. Walnut Creek Hardware Co. is open daily, except for major holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours are Monday-Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 2044 Mount Diablo Blvd., (925) 705-7500.

Diablo Magazine, November 2008

Posted by Jerry Kaplan, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 30, 2009 at 8:52 am

While I miss the "old" Yardbirds", the "new" was just a limited Home Depot. Regarding the tax base and incorporation, Yardbirds/Home Depot was closed when the data was gathered, so that the closing does not have UanyU effect on the figures regarding financial resources. It would have been nice to have the additional revenue, but it does not affect incorporation.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 31, 2009 at 11:12 pm

It is sad to see our neighborhood store become a victim of corporate mistake; I am talking about the old Yardbirds! It was the highest grossing per square ft of all the Yardbirds. When Home Depot came to town we tried to tell them what our community would want in a neighborhood store. They held on to their "business model" though over time they quietly brought back lumber, concrete, and other community needs. But at end, we and many other neighborhoods are loosing our little store to a big box store miscalculation. Maybe someone will realize that the old Yardbird had a successful model and will replicate it here.

Posted by Bob Settle, a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2009 at 9:26 am

I was very sorry to see Yardbirds go. Its replacement did not satisfy my needs as to hardware, especially in the area of fasteners and outdoor plumbing. I have taken numerous trips up to the Home Depot store in Alamo, only to have to turn around and head down to the San Ramon Store to fulfill my needs.

Hopefully, a more adequately supplied and user-friendly store will be established in Alamo in the near future.

Posted by vishwas more, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm

The fact is the sales tax collected from Yard Bird closing DOES NOT affect the Incorporation of Alamo,Yardbirds tax was not included in the LAFCO estimattes,yes there are other Hardware store are looking into, to come to Alamo.We need neighbourhood type hardware store.
I wish people have facts on hand before making comments?
The Incorporation Movement need all the support from the residents of Alamo.Lets take our own house under our own control,we the Alamo peoiple are smart and we can do a better job than the county.Lets not get scared by the incorrect information presented to the RESIDENTS?Be smart and do the home work.

Posted by Ron, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 6, 2009 at 10:20 am

Who cares about FACTS if you a hand wringer by nature? Yardbirds' tax revenue wasn't even in the LAFCO estimate because it was closed for remodeling at the time the estimate was done.

Yardbirds was run into the ground by H Depot and their corporate cretins who turned lemonade into a lemon. The Alamo store was a big money maker for Yardbirds as we all know. H Depot bastardized it with lousy selection and drove away customers - in recent months, I'd go there and find more staff than customers.

But surely someone will start up another hardware store like the old Yardbirds - it's a money maker location and the new Town of Alamo will reap the benefits in due course.

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