Harbor Freight Tools to open July 25 in Kandi Mall in Willmar

The new store is expected to bring 35 jobs to the region when it opens July 25.

Harbor Freight is ready for customers at the Kandi Mall in Willmar. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Harbor Freight Tools will open a new store July 25 in the Kandi Mall in Willmar, bringing about 35 new jobs to the region, according to a news release from Harbor Freight’s corporate office in California.

The store will be considered an essential service and will have business hours seven days a week.

“We are excited that Harbor Freight decided to join Kandi Mall and the Willmar community,” John Vornholt, general manager of Kandi Mall, told the West Central Tribune. “Anytime you can add a national name brand store with over 1,000 locations nationwide, it can only help to strengthen our local retail market.”

The 15,000 square-foot store will stock tools and accessories for automotive needs, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment and hand tools.

Vornholt said the mall has opened four new stores in 2019, including Kohl’s, and he hopes to continue the trend into 2021.


Despite the pandemic, Vornholt said the mall has not had any stores close yet in 2020.

The new store will follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines regarding public safety and COVID-19, including social distancing and frequent cleaning in its stores.

Any customers who have COVID-19 symptoms are asked to shop instead on their website, .

“We’re ready to serve and deliver value to customers in Willmar and all of Kandiyohi County,” Harbor Freight store manager Shannon Reznicek said in a news release. “At Harbor Freight, we recognize that now, more than ever, our customers depend on Harbor Freight for the tools they need to get the job done at an affordable price.”

Harbor Freight was founded in southern California in 1977 by 17-year-old Eric Smidt after transforming his father’s small sales business into a mail order company, according to the news release.

The family-owned company employs more than 20,000 people across its 1,000 stores. The Willmar location is its 13th store in Minnesota.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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