About - CRHWA
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Today’s California Retail Hardware Association

CRHWA is a community of independent hardware stores, home centers, and lumberyards dedicated to helping each other succeed.


The inspiration to start the Association arose from conversations with independent owners across the State. Two critical themes surfaced in nearly every dialog. The struggles hardware retailers face are rarely unique and the community is fragmented. There was void.


Gone are the days when your biggest competitor was down the street or at the edge of town. Now the competition is literally in everyone’s pocket. Exhaustive selection, same day delivery, and one click ordering are serious threats from Amazon. Strategies from the past are not going to work anymore.


The California Retail Hardware Association is a path to finding resources to ensure your continued success. Challenges will be easier to handle working with others trying to solve the same problems. California is different and we understand that.

The store down the street will become your partner as will a network of suppliers and partners that share the goal of making your business more competitive and successful. We believe that by working together, we can gain access to powerful resources and information not otherwise available to the individual.


The CRHWA was founded by two industry veterans that have witnessed and experienced the struggles of running a successful hardware store first hand.


Aaron Hichman grew up working in his family’s hardware store in Santa Ana before moving to the wholesale side of the industry. For the last decade he has been involved in the insurance business. (Read more about him here.)


Matthew Rogers purchased the store he worked at while attending college, expanded to multiple locations, and downsized back to one store. He is part owner of Papenhausen Hardware in San Francisco. (Read more about him here.)


The photo above is from a meeting of the original California Retail Hardware Association in Santa Cruz dated February 4, 1936.

How CRHWA Is Different

We focus exclusively on California’s hardware industry and the issues that arise with doing business in the state. We provide information from California business owners, not from sources that don’t understand the state’s unique demands, regulations, and consumers.

We Provide:

  • A network of California Business Owners
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Exposure to California specific products
  • Discounts with our Professional Partner Network

  • California specific news and information
  • Discussion Forum (coming soon)
  • Membership Directory (coming soon)
  • Discount to upcoming CRHWA events

Become a Member

Sign up to get more information about CRHWA and how we can help your business grow.