Penguin Plumbing closes its Gardnerville store |

Penguin Plumbing closes its Gardnerville store

by Kurt Hildebrand

Penguin Plumbing is closing after 20 years in Gardnerville, citing competition from Home Depot and Lowe’s.

“As it is right now, the business will be closed Nov. 30,” said Lonnie Hatfield, president of Penguin Plumbing, which is based out of Washington. “We’ll be out of the building by Dec. 30.”

The company is based out of Washington and had two western Nevada stores until three years ago when the Carson City store closed.

About 10 employees will lose their jobs in the closure, although Hatfield said the workers are welcome to relocate to Washington.

“They’ll have an opportunity to do that if they wish to,” he said.

Hatfield, who has been with the 40-year-old firm for 30 years, said the business is having to change to adapt to the market.

“We are having to change because of Home Depot and Lowe’s,” he said. “We have to be unique, because we can’t butt heads with them on everything. But we do have lower prices on a lot for things that we stock.”

Hatfield said one way smaller stores compete is in terms of service, which is often better than at the larger stores.

Prices at Penguin over the next month will beat the big box stores while the going out of business sale is on, Hatfield said.

“This is a very good chance for someone if they are building a home or remodeling a home to go into Penguin,” he said. “The prices will undoubtedly beat the big boxes.”

He said there may be good news for the other hardware stores in Minden and Gardnerville.

“This will and should benefit the Valley Do-It Center, Ace Hardware and the new Meeks Lumber,” he said. “If they stock the merchandise, then they will be able to get the business. But, there will be a void in a lot of things that we stocked that no one else does.”

Hatfield said Penguin will miss being in Gardnerville and working with residents here.

“We really enjoy Gardnerville, the people in Gardnerville are just wonderful people,” he said.

— Kurt Hildebrand can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 215.