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Monday, May 2, 2016

Home Club and HomeBase: Before Home Depot Was the Only Choice

          Homebase was once a home improvement chain based in Irvine, California and was in business until the early 2000's. Originally, Homebase was founded as a warehouse chain called Homeclub in the early 1980's.

          A few years later, Homeclub was acquired by Massachusetts-based discount chain Zayre. Then, Zayre was acquired by Ames, Homeclub was spun-off by new ownership which also owned BJ's Wholesale Club. The company did not want to own two different membership warehouse chains, so in 1991, Homeclub discontinued its membership status, and adopted the name Homebase, and begun to only sell home furnishings and tools, much like The Home Depot or Builder Square.

          Operating around 90 stores, Homebase became the sixth largest home improvement chain in the business. Surpassing sales or Orchard Supply in California, or Builder Square by size, could not overcome the competition set by Lowe's or The Home Depot.

          On December 5, 2000, after many quarters of profit loss, the chain announced that 67 stores would be converted to House2Home, a home decorating chain. Below are pictures of a typical converted Homebase store. Looks a lot like an "At Home" store today. Remaining Homebase stores would close. House2Home, a last ditch effort did not fetch far better than Homebase, and filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2001, and closed all stores by early 2002.

Here is an article from the Los Angeles Times announcing Homebase will close all of its stores.

Foothill Ranch, California
Here are a series of commercial's for Homebase and original chain, Homeclub.

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