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Hardware Distributor News: House-Hasson to Acquire Bostwick-Braun

On March 19, officials from House-Hasson Hardware and Bostwick-Braun Hardware signed a letter of intent for the Knoxville, Tenn.,-based distributor to purchase the Toledo, Ohio-based distributor.

“When completed, this acquisition doubles the number of our distribution centers, grows our inventory, and puts us in an even stronger position to provide everything our dealers need,” said House-Hasson President and CEO Steve Henry. “These businesses are owned by many thousands of men and women, husbands and wives, sons and fathers, mothers and daughters, and we want to make sure they continue to prosper. Their profitability is our purpose.”

House-Hasson President and CEO Steve Henry.

Details of the acquisition were not released. The acquisition described in the letter of intent will be complete after a period of due diligence. The Bostwick-Braun warehouses employ 110, and House-Hasson plans to try to retain as many employees as possible, according to a House-Hasson press release

One Ohio retailer who has purchased from both wholesalers sees the move as potentially positive.

“I hate to see Bostwick go, and I understand times are rough,” said John Moore, owner of Moore Bros. Hardware in Byesville, Ohio. “I think it will work out good for both companies, because they have some different lines. I think it’s going to be a win-win situation. Once all hoops and boundaries are played out, we could possibly have more buying power and keep prices down so we can compete with big boxes.”

Moore has been a customer of Bostwick-Braun for 28 years and said he was very thankful for their help in building his new store in 2000. Since 2015, Moore has also been a customer of House-Hasson.

Privately owned House-Hasson Hardware is a Century Club member that was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. In 2023, the company had sales of $350 million. In 2023, Bostwick-Braun’s sales were about $80 million.

Founded in 1855, Century Club member Bostwick-Braun is the second-oldest hardware distribution company in the country. Providing products to customers throughout the Midwest, Bostwick-Braun is employee owned and has warehouses in West Helena, Ark., and Ashley, Ind. With its main warehouse in Knoxville, Tenn., and a second warehouse in Prichard, W.Va., House-Hasson will have more than 1.1 million square feet of warehouse, receiving, and shipping space after the Bostwick-Braun acquisition.

“Bostwick-Braun is privileged to have served so many wonderful customers in our long history,” said Pete Richichi, CEO of Bostwick-Braun. “Our doors opened only 79 years after the United States became an independent nation. Since the day we opened, we’ve enabled our customers to be successful. Our long history was possible because of generations of employees dedicated to doing a great job for our customers. Our assessment, after much consideration, is that House-Hasson, with its history and dealer-profitability focus, is exactly the right company to continue our legacy.”

House-Hasson serves dealers in 23 states and the Caribbean Basin and has a staff of 465 employees in Knoxville and Prichard. The 56,000 SKUs in Bostwick-Braun’s warehouses will be incorporated into House-Hasson’s system. House-Hasson presently has 55,000 SKUs in its two warehouses.

“Bostwick-Braun has a remarkable history, and, to its leadership’s credit, they recognized that now is a good time to partner together to better serve our combined customers,” Henry said.

Richichi said that Bostwick-Braun has a nearly 170-year history of working for customers throughout the Midwest.

The Bostwick-Braun Company will be shifting its focus to industrial supply, while hardware operations will be owned and managed by House-Hasson. The acquisition process is expected to be finalized over the next 90 days. During this time, Bostwick-Braun will assist customers in setting up accounts for purchasing from House-Hasson.

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