Jensen Distribution Services, the big Spokane-based hardware distributor, plans to expand its huge warehouse on the West Plains by more than one-third due to continuing growth of its business, says CEO Mike Jensen.
Plans call for about 130,000 square feet of floor space to be added to the 292,000-square-foot structure, which is located southeast of the Interstate 90-Medical Lake interchange. Work on the $4 million project is expected to begin by Aug. 1, and to be completed by next March, Jensen says.
Were just expanding, he says. We built the original one back in 1987, and we have grown to the extent that we need more space.
Jensen Distribution Services, formerly called Jensen-Byrd Co., suffered a big sales decline when the Ernst Home Center Inc. retail chain folded about six years ago. Since then, though, it had been increasing its revenues at an average rate of 10 percent to 12 percent a year until last year, when the growth rate eased back to around 6 percent, Jensen says. It expects to have total sales of about $85 million this year.
Jensen attributes the companys growth to hard work and a dedicated staff. Overall, the hardware industry has been in a slump in recent years due to the poor economy, which has led to many hardware store closures, he says.
The 120-year-old business carries close to 50,000 items, including hardware, paint and paint sundries, hand and power tools, housewares, and lawn and garden, electrical, plumbing, and outdoor-living items. It distributes those products to 1,500 to 2,000 retail outlets throughout the western U.S. Its customers include independent retailers as well as large chain-store accounts.
Jensen Distribution has about 200 full-time equivalent employees, and about half of its work force is located at the West Plains facility. Jensen says its too early to say yet whether the warehouse expansion will cause the company to add more workers.
The new addition will be constructed on the east side of the warehouse, he says. Russ Wolfe, of Spokanes Wolfe Architectural Group PS, is the architect on the project, and Shea Graham Construction Inc., also of Spokane, will be the general contractor, he says.
Subscribe today to our free E-Newsletters!SUBSCRIBE