It has taken several measured steps to happen, but Ferguson now has claim on a giant – and impressive – foothold in the Metro New York market. Although the Newport News, VA-based company enjoys the distinction of being the largest wholesale plumbing distributor in the U.S., it’s only in recent months, with the completion of a series of strategic acquisitions and business additions, that it now is a contender to be reckoned with on both the residential and commercial building front in this highly competitive market.
The cornerstone of its Metro New York growth was the acquisition in late 2012 of Davis & Warshow (D&W), for decades one of the area’s leading kitchen and bath products suppliers. In particular, this union helped put the Ferguson name on the radar of influential architects and interior designers, a community of professionals that is highly concentrated in Metro New York and that represents a significant chunk of D&W’s clientele.
“Davis & Warshow is now completely integrated into Ferguson, and in July it started operating under our name,” said Jim Golini, District Manager for Ferguson New York Metro. “We want all the varied customers we work with – architects, interior designers, plumbing and building trade contractors, as well as homeowners – to know that even though the sign on the building is different, the high level of service that D&W’s loyal customers have received over the past 87 years will remain the same,” said Golini. “Be assured Ferguson is committed to upholding all the principles that contributed to D&W’s success – providing quality products along with the highest levels of service and customer satisfaction.”
The D&W acquisition included eight wholesale and five showroom locations dotting Manhattan, Westchester County and Long Island, supplementing Ferguson’s own count of 17 wholesale and 12 showrooms in parts of New Jersey that are included in its Metro New York territory.
Not long after Davis & Warshow joined the Ferguson fold, so, too, did Karl’s Appliance, an appliance retailer with six showrooms in northern New Jersey.
Ferguson, which was founded in 1953, has long been known as a leading source for top brands that consumers look for in plumbing, lighting and appliances, plus HVAC, waterworks and more, said Golini. “So, the Karl’s acquisition allows us to expand their product offering to include plumbing and lighting, with an ultimate goal of transforming their showrooms into one-stop-shops for all kitchen and bath needs.”
Also contributing to the powerhouse status of Ferguson New York Metro was the 2007 acquisition of The Davidson Group. This Brooklyn-based distributor, which included The Gilmour Group Supply Company, Tubeco and T&A Valve, brings 90 years of experience in the pipe, valve and fitting industry. Its capabilities and sophistication in large fabrication projects add yet another resource for Ferguson’s diverse customer base. Moreover, Ferguson has a Fire & Fabrication business unit specializing in the highest quality fire protection products, with one of the most comprehensive assortments in the country.
“We have acquired some great companies with great people,” said Golini. “It’s a beneficial relationship for both Ferguson and our acquisitions – we are continually learning new things from them, while they benefit from our established business services (IT, HR, etc.) and logistics network.”
Golini explained that the 460,000-square-foot Coxsackie facility is being built from the ground up, and will bring 95 new jobs to the region. It’s due to be operational by late summer of 2015. The Secaucus Market Distribution Center occupies 450,000 square feet and will include a sales area to service professional contractors. This warehouse, now under renovation, is slated to be open the first quarter of 2015.
Counting up all of these additions, along with what had already existed in its New Jersey portfolio, the Ferguson name is now emblazoned on 42 locations. Additional locations, including expansion into the Long Island area, are part of a short-term plan, as well. It’s an explosive growth reflecting a significant investment the company has made in the nation’s number one market for construction. Golini comments, “The construction market is quickly rebounding in New York – our customers tell us they are booking new business and many have healthy back-logs. Ferguson is growing in order to better serve these customers and to ensure we are well-positioned to meet our customer’s needs as activity picks up.”