MASON CITY | Harbor Freight Tools has now opened a new location on Highway 122, in the eastern part of the vacated Kmart building west of Mason City.
Steven Van Steenhuyse, director of development services, previously told the Globe Gazette in July that the California-based company had contacted them about putting a retail outlet in the space. He added plans for the store called for about 15,000 square feet of space.
Harbor Freight Tools was founded in 1977, and is now operating more than 800 stores nationwide. The outlet offers more than 7,000 tools and accessories, and serves over 40 million customers, according to its website.
Brad Harken, district manager of Harbor Freight, said Tuesday was a "soft opening" for the store, and an official opening will be Nov. 12, allowing new employees to work out the kinks.
Hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Those will vary for holidays, Harken said.
"When you look at retail landscaping itself right now, you can see there's more store closures than store openings," Harken said. "Harbor Freight prides itself in really making sure we make those decisions ... on where to put stores, and Mason City was that perfect location."
Ashley Furniture, the store located to the immediate left of Harbor Freight, will be opening Nov. 18, according to signs posted at the store's entrance.
The Globe Gazette reported in August the store will be 37,000 square feet, and lease about another 100,000 square feet to retail tenants, according to company officials.
Randy Black, who will be store manager, said Nov. 18 is a "soft opening" for the store, in order to train employees for the official opening during Thanksgiving weekend, which includes Black Friday.
"It's like when you're decorating your house," Black said of the final stages of construction. "You're doing the final touches and everything ... we want it to be showroom perfect."
He said Ashley Furniture picked the spot next to Harbor Freight because of its "prime location," and anticipates his store will be busy.
"We look forward to seeing everyone," Black said.