Hechinger closing seven stores Move attributed to repositioning in certain areas.

November 05, 1991|By Kevin Thomas | Kevin Thomas,Evening Sun Staff

Hechinger Co., the Landover-based hardware chain, is closing a total of seven stores in Washington, Virginia, Connecticut and the Carolinas.

The move was described as part of a continuing repositioning.

Except for one Washington outlet, the Hechinger stores being closed are in areas currently dominated by the company's Home Quarters Warehouses. That division is expected to pick up much of the business currently done by the stores that will be closed, officials said.

The closings, which were announced yesterday, are slated for January.

The company recently reported a 28 percent increase in second-quarter earnings compared with the same period last year. Third-quarter earnings were not available yesterday.

"This is not being done because the company is in trouble," said Lennie Zallar, company vice president and treasurer. Zallar said said the closings are part of the company's long-term strategy.

A year ago, Hechinger announced the first phase of that strategy when it decided to convert four of its Carolina stores from Hechingers to Home Quarters Warehouses. That strategy is continuing, officials said, only now the New England and Carolina markets will be dominated by Home Quarters stores only.

While four of the stores to be closed are in North and South Carolina, the remainder are in Newington, Conn., Harrisonburg, Va., and Washington.

Approximately 575 employees will be affected by the closings. Officials said those who are not offered employment in other company stores will be provided severance packages and assistance in finding other jobs.

Hechinger Co. currently operates 83 Hechinger stores, 30 Home Quarters Warehouse stores and six Triangle Building Centers in 15 states and the District of Columbia. There are 10 Hechinger stores in the Baltimore area.

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