Harbor Freight Tools to open in Smart & Final’s old San Luis Obispo spot

The former Smart & Final at South and Higuera streets will soon be a Harbor Freight Tools.
The former Smart & Final at South and Higuera streets will soon be a Harbor Freight Tools.

Retail chain Harbor Freight Tools is coming to San Luis Obispo — opening in the space of a former Smart & Final store on Higuera Street.

The company, which calls itself the leading discount tool retailer in the U.S., sells a wide range of tools and accessories, among other items.

The store is tentatively scheduled to open Oct. 31, with a tentative grand opening date of Nov. 16. A parking lot sale is scheduled for Nov. 25 through Nov. 27.

“We’re thrilled to be opening our 88th Harbor Freight Tools store in California and very pleased by the warm welcome we’ve received in San Luis Obispo,” Harbor Freight Tools President Eric Smidt said in an email to The Tribune. “At Harbor Freight, we’re all about delivering high quality tools at ridiculously low prices.”

The Smart & Final store that previously occupied the 16,100-square-foot building at 277 Higuera St. closed March 1 and relocated to a larger Johnson Avenue site. The larger store is called Smart & Final Extra.

Harbor Freight Tools anticipates hiring 35 to 40 employees at the San Luis Obispo location, a mix of full- and part-time staff. Anyone interested in a position can apply online at

The company is currently opening a new store every three days, according to a company representative. The nearest Harbor Freight Tools stores are located in Santa Maria and Lompoc.

Founded in 1977, Harbor Freight Tools is based in Calabasas and has more than 700 stores nationwide, according to the company representative.

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