Specialty Appliance
LUMBERYARDS

Kodiak acquires Specialty Appliance

BY HBSDealer Staff

Denver-based Kodiak Building Partners acquired Specialty Appliance, a Colorado-based appliance dealer that serves residential and pro markets. The company will join Kodiak’s Interiors Group, one of its four segments.

Specialty Appliance was founded in 1998 by Denver natives Kirk Dryden and Greg Ulvedal. Both men will continue to run Specialty Appliance, under the leadership of industry veteran Doug Rapier, Kodiak announced.

“Specialty Appliance was started in 1998 with a small amount of family investment and with a business plan that was agreed to on the back of a napkin at Chili’s,” said Dryden. “Now, we are very eager to be starting the next phase of our journey by joining the Interiors Group at Kodiak Building Partners.”

Kodiak Building Partners

Also in the Kodiak Interiors group are Factory Builder Stores and Arizona Wholesale Supply.

Ulvedal added, “We started as an installation company, and now, Specialty Appliance has grown to employ more than 120 employees along the Front Range of Colorado. We look forward to working with the teams at Factory Builder Stores and Arizona Wholesale Supply in the coming years.”

Specialty Appliance operates five locations in Colorado: Denver, Greenwood Village, Fort Collins, Louisville and a new location in Colorado Springs. It serves builders, retail customers, designers and architects.”

Kodiak Chairman Paul Hylbert described Specialty Appliance as a well-known player in the Colorado markets. “We are excited to add their team members into the Kodiak family, This is an important segment for us at Kodiak, and the team and management at Specialty Appliance reinforces our strength in multiple ways.”

Steve Swinney, CEO of Kodiak stated “We’ve enjoyed the process of getting to know the owners and team at Specialty. It is clear to us why they outperform the competition. They have built a sound foundation from which to grow from here. Like so many other founders or legacy management teams, they recognized that their next stage of growth could best be supported by Kodiak and that the best environment for their team was within the very decentralized culture that Kodiak offers. We are proud to add this top-notch company into our family. We know that the addition of Specialty Appliance to Arizona Wholesale Supply and Factory Builder Stores positions us as a substantial player in these product lines and geographies.”

The move extends Kodiak’s holdings to 61 facilities in a handful of states. In addition to Interiors, the company’s three other segments are Construction Supplies, Lumber and Building Materials and Commercial Drywall and Doors.

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Market Recap — April 6, 2018
LUMBERYARDS

RISI Crow’s Market Recap for April 6

BY HBSDealer Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for April 6, 2018.

Western: regional species perimeter foundation
Southern: regional species slab construction

Crow’s Market Recap: A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.


Lumber

As the week progressed, more SPF buyers threw in the towel after trying to hold out for lower prices. Demand picked up at midweek and as early as Tuesday. Much of the buying was focused on 2×4, equating to more subdued price increases for other dimensions.

  • Southern Pine prices were mixed, but losses continued to outnumber gains in the key upper grades. Buyers, sensing the potential for more downside price moves, held off purchasing some items. Demand for other items improved, and cutbacks in production for low priced items helped boost pricing.
  • The downside to Coastal species pricing was not as severe as in prior weeks, but softness remained, particularly in dry Doug Fir. Producers noted that dry was not as active as green Doug Fir, which was reflected in prices of the two products.
  • The pace and demand for Inland lumber products indicate that this is a rebuilding market. Hem-Fir is still the leader among Inland products, but Fir-Larch has picked up well.
  • After a reduction in available supplies the prior week, SPF stud demand remained good and prices continued to strengthen. Moderate to up-limit gains in futures throughout much of the week prodded more buyers to participate. Western US species were weaker.
  • Radiata Pine was being re-examined by some producers in New Zealand, based on decisions being made regarding the local New Zealand market.
  • Price activity in Ponderosa Pine industrials varied from producer to producer regarding Shop, but industry consensus showed no major changes in either 5/4 or 6/4 Mldg&Btr. In boards Ponderosa Pine Selects have been stable, but recent activity in Commons have them attempting to regain stronger levels.
  • New availability of Idaho White Pine changed the prices of that species, some items elevating while others slumped a bit.
  • Additional mill offerings of ESLP are forthcoming.
  • As markets headed into April, a month where Western Red Cedar traders expect an uptick in sales activity, the pace of sales was relatively steady and slower than in 2017.


Panels

OSB markets twisted in the wind this week, slowed by pervasive late winter weather and a reluctance among buyers to take on volume at current prices. Sources held varied opinions as to whether there is downside or upside.

  • Southern Pine plywood sales again failed to keep up with production. Consequently, producers were forced to lower quotes to compete in different regions of the country. Fortunately for producers, a fair amount of liquidity existed in the form of railcar demand.
  • Western Fir sheathing sales were mostly lackluster, lending to a mostly flat to moderately downward pricing. Mills did what they could to maintain some semblance of strength in the market. Producers came off prices of those items where lead times eroded.
  • Canadian plywood markets were widely described as quiet this week, though some sources noted “spotty” activity. Wintry weather held back most enthusiasm and quelled purchasing. Buyers chased wood, and some volumes ordered in February had yet to arrive.
  • Sales improved for some particleboard and MDF producers. MDF sales were solid in the West and East regions. Particleboard sales activity in the West generally lagged that in the East.

For more on RISI, click here.

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Centuries in the Making: Alexander Lumber (est. 1891)
LUMBERYARDS

Centuries in the Making: Alexander Lumber (est. 1891)

BY HBSDealer Staff

The April issue of HBSDealer profiled a handful of lumberyards that have survived and thrived beyond the century mark. One of the keys to success across the board: They move on when opportunities present themselves.

See the April 2018 digital edition here.

What follows below is a look at Alexander Lumber, an Illinois institution since 1891.


Alexander Lumber (est. 1891
)

Alexander Lumber, with 18 retail locations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa, celebrates 127 years in the lumber business.

The company’s roots stretch back to the 1870s when the Alexander family arrived in Wisconsin by way of Scotland and began a sawmill business. Along with retail lumberyards, including 15 locations in Illinois, the company now operates truss plants in Cortland and Le Roy, Ill., and a showroom and sales office in Twin Lakes, Wis.

The first actual Alexander Lumber location opened in 1891 with the aid of two partners, Tom Brittingham and Joe Hixon, and a $5,000 loan from Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago.

John Alexander, the youngest of the Alexander immigrants, eventually expanded the company, which grew with the railroad industry. Alexander expanded west through a series of land leases and “line yards,” which were small-scale yards along the railroad route.

By the 1920s, more than 100 of these small lumberyards were under the control of John Alexander.

The company eventually expanded product lines and built a showroom to serve contractors and builders. Otto Unteed managed day-to-day operations of the company from 1940 until his retirement in 1966.

Russ Kathrein was named president and CEO of the company in September 2014 and Alexander Lumber celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2016. The company expanded into Iowa in 2016 when it acquired Nagle Lumber of Iowa City.

“Alexander Lumber has been looking for high-quality companies that will allow us to grow, while at the same time, diversify our business outside of the Illinois economy that has been our traditional base of business,” Kathrein said at the time.

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