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Back to the Future!

I’m excited to announce the debut of our latest and greatest entry into the world of e-commerce. Once again, you can shop with us 24 hours a day. Shop now!

Third Time’s a Charm?

Yes, once again. This is our third iteration of online shopping since the beginning of time—at least Internet time. Back in the ’80s, eons before the likes of Google, Facebook, and even Amazon, Cole Hardware was selling on the Internet. That’s right. Do you remember an online portal called Prodigy? Cole Hardware became one of the first of Prodigy’s e-commerce sites in 1984. You probably recall the original America Online format (remember the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie You’ve Got Mail?). Prodigy was conceived years before America Online.

At the time, Prodigy was a joint venture between Sears and IBM. They were seeking retailers for what would be the first online shopping mall. I contacted them and convinced them that Cole Hardware was their best choice for a hardware store in that mall. It was a pretty exciting time, and we did have customers all over the country. But the cost to play became too dear for us, so we closed our site—just a year or two before Prodigy closed theirs!

Years later, we entered the e-commerce fray once again. We had a wildly popular site, but it wasn’t very profitable. We learned numerous lessons this time around. The first and most important was to recognize that our mission is to serve our patrons in San Francisco, not in Akron, Phoenix, or Charlotte. Thus, once more, we shuttered our virtual doors.

Online Shopping is Back, and Better!

Online ShoppingNow, we’re back again. Sure, we’ll ship anywhere, but today the focus is local. And certainly “local” is what Cole Hardware is all about. We’ve launched a sophisticated e-commerce platform that allows you to shop anytime, designate a store to pick up your order, or have it shipped to you or anyone else. We worked hard to get a good selection of products for you to choose from: you can search through 70,000 items at this point! Check it out at

Anytime. Anywhere. Just another little way we try to fulfill our simple mission: “Our commitment to you: Your satisfaction guaranteed. Period.”

Shop now!


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