Harbor Freight Tools is a privately held discount tool and equipment retailer, headquartered in Calabasas, California, which operates a chain of retail stores as well as a mail-order and eCommerce business. The company has over 700 stores in 47 states, offering over 7,000 tools and related products. The company employs over 17,000 people in the U.S. In 1977, Eric Smidt and his father, Allan Smidt started Harbor Freight Tools in a small building in North Hollywood, California. Originally known as Harbor Freight Salvage, the company began as a mail-order tool business. The company changed its name to Harbor Freight Tools. In 1985, Smidt was named president of the company at the age of 25; he served under that title until 1999 when he became CEO. From the mid 1980s-2010 Harbor Freight was headquartered in nearby Camarillo California The company subsequently acquired US General, another mail-order tool and equipment company. At first, the company mailed promotions in standard #10 business envelopes. In the early 1980s, the company relocated to Camarillo, CA, acquiring the former headquarters of Unity, another large mail-order company, and launched its first mail-order catalog in the mid-1980s.