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10/06/2021

Kodiak acquires Carl's Building Supply in Washington

Carl’s serves the lumber and hardware needs of builders and homeowners in western Washington.
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Kodiak Building Partners reported that it has acquired Carl’s Building Supply from owner Lawrence Johnson.

The move is effective Oct. 1. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Carl’s was founded in 1947 and serves the lumber and hardware needs of builders and homeowners in the greater Olympic Peninsula market in western Washington. 

Johnson will continue to remain active with Carl’s following the transaction, and Tom Rider, currently president of the company, will continue in that role and be responsible for the overall business, as well as the go-forward strategy, Kodiak said.

Carl’s will join the Retail Lumber and Gypsum group of Kodiak and will report to Pat Flood,  executive vice president of the group. 

Both Johnson and Rider have deep roots in the industry. Johnson and his wife, Lori, bought Carl’s from Johnson’s father (Carl) in 1992 after being involved with other lumber dealers in the  Northwest. 

Carl’s grew from a small retail business to a best-in-class contractor yard with a strong emphasis on quality and service while under Johnson’s leadership, Kodiak said.

Carl’s primarily serves custom builders from its 8-acre single location that boasts over 50,000 square feet of covered storage. The dealer has 44 employees and supplies framing materials, doors and windows, hardware and tools, and roofing.

 

Rider, like many in the industry, got sawdust in his blood when he started sweeping floors in a lumberyard at the age of 16. He has been with Carl’s for over four years and initially joined the company in a  consulting role, leveraging his background as an attorney and experience with a national finance company as well as start-ups. He ended up finding his permanent home at Carl’s as he was given the freedom to implement new and innovative ideas that he brought from other industries, including an expanded use of various technology platforms to better service customers. 

Under Johnson and Rider’s leadership, the company has made succession planning in all areas of the company a core focus, always searching for fresh ideas to continuously improve their service offering. 

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The progressive company boasts a workforce with 1/3 of the staff holding college degrees and has a  strong family culture that includes a handful of married couples, father-child teams, and many employees with over 20 years of loyal service. Carl’s staff also touts an average age that is 10 years under the industry average, as a result of intentional recruiting efforts. 

“It’s clear that this visionary company, with its proven track record, will fit perfectly with  Kodiak’s decentralized operating philosophy and will contribute to making us all better as they share best practices and successes,” said Steve Swinney, Kodiak CEO. “Carl’s, in turn, will be able to benefit from the scale and resources that a larger organization can provide. Despite the significant shrinkage in lumber commodity prices, we remain very  bullish on the market that Carl’s serves and the Pacific Northwest area in general.”

Johnson added that partnering with Kodiak “ensures that the next 75 years are in safe hands, both for our family of employees and our robust home building community. I’ve been thinking about joining forces with a larger company for a while, now. After passing on a few other opportunities, I felt that Kodiak’s culture would be the right match for Carl’s. I am certain that my employees, community, and customers will be pleased.”

Kodiak operates 89 locations in more than 20 states.


 

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