Harbor Freight to open Aug. 28

Eric Smidt.jpg

Harbor Freight Chief Executive Officer Eric Smidt


By William F West
Staff Writer

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Harbor Freight Tools plans to open what will be its 30th North Carolina store in Elizabeth City at the end of this month. 

The Southern California-based tool retailer is planning a “soft opening” of its new store at Port Elizabeth Centre on Aug. 28 and will follow that with a grand opening on Sept. 12,  Lisa Hartley, a company spokeswoman, said last week.

The Elizabeth City store will occupy about 15,000 square feet in the former Walmart store at Port Elizabeth and employ 35-40 people, Hartley said.

The U.S. Coast Guard is still leasing a large portion of the former Walmart for storage. Walls have been built and utilities have been split to separate the Coast Guard’s warehouse space from Harbor Freight’s. Los Angeles-based BH Properties owns the Port Elizabeth shopping center.

Harbor Freight sells a full line of air tools, chainsaws, small electric and gasoline-powered motors, generators, hand tools, power tools, tool chests and welding equipment.

Harbor Freight Chief Executive Officer Eric Smidt said in a statement the company is pleased with the warm welcome it’s received in Elizabeth City.

“At Harbor Freight, we're all about delivering high-quality tools at ridiculously low prices,” Smidt said. “We do it by manufacturing our tools at the same factories as the expensive brands, but we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to our customers.”

Smidt said the company has invested millions of dollars to build and operate state-of-the-art quality testing laboratories to ensure the company is constantly driving quality at the lowest possible price.

Hartley said the soft opening and the grand opening dates are tentative and may change.

Founded in 1977 and headquartered in the Los Angeles area, Harbor Freight has more than 900 stores nationwide, including in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Newport News.