A closer look into what the sale of McLendon means to the business, customers

McLendon sale set to finalize this month

If you’re from Renton or live in Renton, odds are McLendon Hardware is a well-known household name.

So it may have come as a shock when the company announced its acquisition by Central Network Retail Group on March 31.

The family-run company is set to finalize the transaction sometime this month, Gail McLendon, president of McLendon Hardware, said in an email.

According to a press release, CNRG is “a multi-format, multi-brand retailer operating 90 hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout 11 states across the U.S.”

Included in the sale is seven stores and two distribution centers.

The oldest and largest of the seven is the Renton store. It opened in 1926 and was originally known as the U.S. Junk Company.

What Is McLendon Hardware?

McLendon said there are three “strategic ‘keys’” that sets McLendons apart from other hardware stores. Those three areas are expert advice, legendary customer service and unmatched product selection for DIY projects, she said.

“We invest in our team members so they have the skill set to provide these three keys,” McLendon said.

She credits the company’s customer loyalty to the team members they hire.

“We hire team members that we know will embrace our culture which is reminiscent of the old days of hardware stores,” McLendon said.

She added knowledge of the industry also makes their employees special. She said many of the employees “have a following of customers that see them every day.”

How CNRG Will Help

The sale of McLendon to CNRG is to help this family-owned business maintain their goal of preserving and protecting the legacy of McLendon Hardware and its employees, McLendon said in an email.

“To secure the company’s future, we sought a partner with similar values and financial strength to grow the business and provide new and long-term opportunities for our team members,” she said.

McLendon added customers will notice new products. Currently the stores carry 75,000 items and following the sale customers will have access to more than 400,000 items.

McLendon assured there will be no changes in personnel and the management will stay the same.

The name will also stay the same, she said. “And there will be growth in store locations that will expand the McLendon presence throughout the region.”

When asked what drew McLendon to the CNRG, she said, “They have a similar culture and have made many acquisitions similar to ours with success.”

Following our original post of the news of the sale Friday, many Facebook users commented on the sadness they feel. But when asked what she would say to customers regarding the sale and the future of the stores, she said many aspects will not change.

McLendon added the new owners, CNRG, is impressed with their business model and the process they have used over the years to deliver and maintain their customer base.

“CNRG’s management style is a hands-off approach,” she said. “They want us to run the business as we always have and be successful.”

How It Started

Moses Jones “Pop” McLendon founded the company after him and his family settled in Renton in 1923. His father-in-law purchased a second hand junk shop and the two began operating the store three years later in 1926.

Then in 1934 for $500, Pop made a deal with a local hardware store owner Carl Dale. The two of them then went into business as co-owners of Dale &McLendon. A year following, his father-in-law died and the U.S. Junk Co. closed for good. According to McLendon’s website, the stores inventory moved to Dale &McLendon.

Up until the 1950s, the store was run by family members only until the first non-member was hired. And in the 1960s, Pop bought out Dale’s share and become the sole owner and therefore created McLendon Hardware, Inc.

The company expanded in the 1970s when the Sumner store opened. From then on, five more stores opened with locations in Woodinville, Puyallup, White Center, Kent and Tacoma.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

A cloudy day at Renton Municipal Airport. Photo by Haley Ausbun
Renton considers legal avenues for airport plan

The city is looking at how it can combat the FAA’s masterplan requirements

Courtesy of City of Renton. Site area for the Park Avenue North extension, a project from the city and SECO development that creates a second access point for Southport.
SECO expands its reach

Two new land acquisitions will expand Southport

Courtesy of Renton Chamber of Commerce Website. Diane Dobson appointed by board as new Renton Chamber CEO and President.
Dobson is the official Chamber of Commerce President

Long-time member is excited about the opportunity

AIM Aerospace changes name, ownership

The Renton business hopes recent acquisition will bring stability

Dennis Muilenburg, who was ousted as CEO of Boeing Dec. 23, in a September video from the company where he shared safety improvements.
Boeing CEO is out

After recently announcing the temporary shutdown of the Renton Boeing plant, Dennis Muilenburg is replaced by board of directors.

Boeing Renton plant to halt 737 Max production

Suspension expected to begin in January

New gym gains national attention

Photo by Kevin Pieczynski-Jones At the new Renton business Benavidez Sports Training,… Continue reading

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in South King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Wyman and Vicky Dobson, as Wyman Dobson receives a certificate and medal for being a founder of the Nishiwaki-Renton sister cities. Wyman recently retired and sold his family building, where he had been an attorney for 59 years.
Dobson shuts his doors, leaves behind a nearly 60-year legacy

Long-time local lawyer, leader chooses to retire

A King County judge found the company misled customers into thinking it was a charity. Photo courtesy of the state Attorney General’s office
Judge rules Value Village deceived customers

The King County judge found the company misled customers into thinking it was a charity.

Fake website attempts to lure Renton businesses

A fake business claiming to be a part of the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Republic Services sanitation workers on strike in Massachusetts. COURTESY PHOTO
No garbage, recycling service in Renton Friday | Update

Pickets set up to support sanitation workers on strike in Massachusetts