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Home Hardware Stores Co-Founder Dies at 95

walter-photo_webbodyWalter Hachborn, former president and Home Hardware Stores Ltd. co-founder, died on Dec. 17 at the age of 95.

Hachborn began his hardware career in 1938 at Hollinger Hardware in St. Jacobs, Ontario, and dedicated his entire life to serving his employees and the hardware industry as a whole. Along with Henry Sittler and silent partner Arthur Zilliax, Hachborn co-founded Home Hardware Stores Ltd. in 1964.

Hachborn was the driving force behind developing a Canadian cooperative hardware business during a time when big-box retailers with manufacturer-direct buying power were coming to Canada. He encouraged independent retailers to band together to form a retailer-owned hardware cooperative with an equal share and voice for every member, growing Home Hardware into Canada’s largest independent home improvement retailer.

Over the course of his career and lifetime, Hachborn has been recognized and honored for his professional and personal efforts. A few of these honors include his induction into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, his induction into the Waterloo Region Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal award and more.

In addition to his many achievements, philanthropy was also very important to Hachborn. He assisted with a Habitat for Humanity build project with U.S. president Jimmy Carter and spent many years on the Lutheran Church and Wilfred Laurier University Boards.

Over the course of his nearly 80-year career, Hachborn’s leadership and entrepreneurialism have had a tremendous impact on the national hardware industry and the survival of the independent home improvement retailer in Canada.

His combination of business acumen, work ethic, ingenuity and kindness has inspired thousands over the course of his distinguished career and has helped establish Home Hardware as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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