Central Purchasing certainly could lay claim to the expression "the right tool for the job." The company, better recognized by its trade name Harbor Freight Tools, is a leading discounter of tool and work equipment. It offers more than 7,000 items, including hand and power tools, automotive parts and supplies, metalworking machines, pressure washers, woodworking instruments, welders, and accessories for home workshops. Top brands include Central Pneumatic, Chicago Electric, DrilMaster, and Pittsburgh. The firm sells through a network of about 400 retail stores throughout the US. It also markets products through its catalog and online (via its website and eBay store).
Harbor Freight Tools has stores in some 45 US states. Major markets for the chain include California, Texas, and Florida.
The discount tool retailer is expanding its operations nationwide and added about 20 stores in 2012, incluing stores in Brooklyn, New York; New Jersey; Las Vegas; and California. To better serve its growing Harbor Freight Tools chain, Central Purchasing has been building up its distribution footprint. It opened a 799,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Moreno Valley, California, in 2012.
The chain's more than 20 million customers include do-it-yourselfers, hobbyists, and professional contractors. Harbor Freight is also a go-to supplier for government agencies, schools, and manufacturing firms. Harbor Freight Tools stores are company-owned, not franchises.
Central Purchasing was founded in 1977.