OSH chainsaw cutting

Tyler DeVaney, Mike Caswell and Jan Wienecke welcome guests with a chainsaw “ribbon cutting” at the reopening of Napa’s OSH store.

Some stores pull out scissors for a ribbon-cutting.

At OSH, they pull out a chainsaw.

On Wednesday night, Orchard Supply Hardware store manager Mike Caswell revved up a chainsaw and sliced through a piece of green painted wood to welcome visitors to Napa’s newly remodeled store.

After the symbolic “board cutting,” guests were invited to tour the store and check out the changes, which include just about everything from aisles, floors, colors, lights and signs.

It was a needed upgrade, some said. Before the remodel, the Bel Aire Plaza store “felt like a ‘50s house,” with dated signage and interiors, said shopper Betty Elliott of Napa. Now, “It’s clean, it’s open. The aisles are nice and wide.”

“Everything seems well-organized,” said shopper Cathy Tuggle of Vallejo. “The signage is better than what I’ve seen in other Orchard Supply Hardware stores.”

“Isn’t it pretty?” asked shopper Suzanne Reilly-Kampton of Napa. “I didn’t realize they’d be doing such a major overhaul. It’s a big improvement.”

“It was an extensive investment” to remodel the store, said district manager Matt Holden. The Napa store opened in 1987 and the last time it was remodeled was about 15 years ago, he said.

“We want to build an environment that is inviting and inspiring,” Holden said. “We want to set ourselves apart.”

That explains the chainsaw opening. “We’re not like other retailers,” Holden said with a smile. “We don’t just cut ribbons.”

The remodel occurred over several months while the store stayed open.

According to an OSH news release, the new navigational and directional signage is color-coded by section “to guide and enhance customer experience by simplifying store navigation.”

The “workbench” is another highlight at the new Napa OSH. This resource is an expanded customer support area that offers customers help with basic maintenance needs, such as knife sharpening, lock re-keying and window and door rescreening.

The interior and exterior spaces of the Napa OSH span approximately 28,000 square feet with an additional 8,500-square-foot nursery. Other modern OSH stores follow a similar format.

This location is staffed by nearly 70 full- and part-time employees. Store manager Caswell is Napa-area local, with 23 years of experience as an Orchard Supply Hardware associate, said the release.

The store reopening continues on Saturday when OSH will host a party for shoppers, including a coffee cart and live music. The Saturday event starts at 6:45 a.m. and includes $25 gift cards for the first 100 people in line. On Saturday and Sunday, OSH will give away free canvas totes for the first 1,000 customers, plus a chance to win other prizes.

Based in San Jose, Orchard Supply Hardware was founded as a purchasing cooperative in 1931. OSH counts more than 80 retail locations in California, Oregon and Florida.

Stores offer an average of more than 45,000 retail items focusing on backyard, paint and repair. Brands carried in store include: Benjamin Moore paint, DeWalt tools and Kohler plumbing.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.