Harbor Freight Tools is planning to open its first Centre County store in late spring.
The national discount tool and equipment retailer will take over the former Bed Bath & Beyond location at 313 Benner Pike in College Township. A company spokesperson said an exact date for the Benner Pike Shops location will be announced closer to opening.
Bed Bath & Beyond closed its Benner Pike store at the end of 2020 after 15 years in business.
Harbor Freight’s new store, its 45th in Pennsylvania, will employ 25 to 30 locally-hired people, director of corporate communications Craig Hoffman said in an email.
“We pride ourselves as being one of the best places to work in retail and offer highly competitive pay in addition to a great benefits package and the opportunity to advance within the company,” Hoffman said.
Harbor Freight “is always looking for great communities to be a part of,” Hoffman said, and with its nearest store to State College located in Lewistown, the new location will offer Centre County shoppers greater convenience. The company also has a store in Mill Hall.
The 23,200-square foot Benner Pike building offered “exactly the right location,” to expand into the State College area, Hoffman said.
“We look for a location that has high visibility, easy access and ample parking for our customers,” he said. “In addition, we look for the right amount of space.”
Harbor Freight limits the footprint of its locations, Hoffman said, to make the size of the store manageable for customers, whether they are browsing or are tradespeople needing to quickly pick up something on the way to a job site.
“You can find what you need at Harbor Freight without having to traverse aisles and aisles of unrelated products—and we still offer a huge variety of quality tools and equipment at great values and low prices,” he said.
Harbor Freight has more than 20,000 employees at more than 1,100 stores nationwide.
“We also look for communities that have a terrific pool of applicants for the jobs we’re bringing and we certainly feel that State College offers that,” Hoffman said.