A couple of things you might not know about that place you go to pick up cheap-ass screwdrivers and wrenches: It’s family-owned. And the family, it seems, isn’t getting along all that well. This article in the Ventura County Star indicates that a few days ago everything came to a head with ‘Freight founder Allan Smidt escorted out of the door and locked out of the building.
The drama in short (according to VC Star): Smidt’s son nagged him to hand over control of the company for years, and back in 1999, he relented. Unhappy with how his son “dramatically leveraged the company,” Smidt complained, resulting in Smidt’s untimely departure. Smidt filed a lawsuit afterward “accusing the son of looting the company to buy such things as a $20 million Manhattan apartment and a single painting for $100 million.”
Normally we don’t think too much about this kind of stuff at Toolmonger, but hey — $20 million will buy a lot of tools. A hell of a lot of tools if you’re buying at Harbor Freight. Our concern lies primarily in terms of what this means to the consumer. Will it affect the stores in any obvious way?
Honestly, we just don’t know, But we’ll keep an ear to the ground and let you know if we come across any new news. And if you hear anything, don’t be afraid to let us know.
(Thanks, Tom, for the tip.)