With the help of Carter Lumber, two former owners of Virginia's Kempsville Building Materials have bought back their largest former location from Stock Building Supply.
Scott Gandy and Brenda Onley have returned as Kempsville's president and vice president, respectively, after wrapping up a deal on July 17 that saw the yard re-open today in Chesapeake, Va., under the Kempsville banner.
The duo acted after learning of Stock's intention to shut area branches, putting their former employees out of work in the process. Since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, Stock has been vacating locations it did not regard as part of its core markets.
"These employees are the people who are responsible for everything we have been able to achieve," Gandy and Onley said in a statement issued by Carter Lumber. "We did it for them more than anything."
Half of the business will be owned by Carter Lumber, the 195-unit dealer powerhouse based in Kent, Ohio. The move also includes a Stock location in Newport News, Va., that was not originally part of the Kempsville business. Combined, the two locations have 92 employees.
"We're proud to welcome Kempsville Building Materials into the Carter Lumber family of companies," said Neil Sackett, president and CEO of Carter Lumber. "Our partnership will not only revive a great company, but will enable us to work with some great employees and customers while we grow the business."
At its height, Kempsville operated three locations in Chesapeake, Exmore, and Virginia Beach and hit record sales of $70 million in 2004 with more than 160 employees. But a decline in sales that soon followed, and stiff competition in the area, prompted the sale of the business to Stock in November 2006. The company had been operating under an employee stock ownership plan.
"Reviving the Kempsville name was extremely important for our employees and customers," Gandy said. "Partnering with Carter Lumber will allow us to return the pride and heritage of our great company."
Last week, ProBuild took over a former Stock location in Hampshire, Ill., with the lease option to move into two other locations in the Chicago market. All had been owned by the Seigle family, which sold its 11-unit dealership to Stock in 2006. Now Seigle's has incorporated in the state as a cabinetry business and is taking over another former Stock showroom and manufacturing facility in Elgin, Ill.
With operations in 10 states and sales of $628 million, Carter ranked ninth on the most recent ProSales 100. In addition to buying into Kempsville, Carter Lumber has made three other acquisitions in the last few years, including Holmes Lumber of Millersburg, Ohio, Kight Home Center of Evansville, Ind., and Griggs Lumber of Point Harbor, N.C.
"Our strategy with acquisitions is what we believe sets us apart," said Jeff Donley, SVP and COO of Carter Lumber. "We believe it's important to maintain the people, heritage and brand name that have built the business over the years. Coming in and not changing who the company is in the market lets business run as seamlessly as possible and provides less disruption for both customers and employees."