House-Hasson Acquires Long-Lewis

House-Hasson Hardware has acquired an Alabama hardware distributorship that will add about 500 dealers to the House-Hasson network and add about 20 more jobs to the company’s Knoxville facility.

Those extra warehouse and trucking jobs will be needed to support the additional sales territories the company is picking up in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida from its purchase of Long-Lewis Hardware Co., Don Hasson, House-Hasson president, said Thursday.

“The big benefit we are getting from this is we are adding 10 salesmen with 10 existing territories, and those territories add up to about 500 new customers and about $30 million in annual sales,” Hasson said.

Based in Forks of the River Industrial Park in East Knox County, House-Hasson is an independent regional hardware distributor serving dealers in 17 states and the Caribbean. Its purchase of Long-Lewis was concluded Wednesday, with financial terms not disclosed.

Founded in 1887 in Birmingham, Ala., Long-Lewis is a company with two divisions — a Ford dealership that is one of the oldest and largest in Alabama, and a hardware distributorship. House-Hasson is only buying the hardware division of the business, Hasson said.

Long-Lewis decided the Ford dealership, not hardware, was its core business, he said.

The Long-Lewis acquisition will allow House-Hasson, which has been adding sales territories in the Northeast, to expand south to the southernmost part of Alabama and into the panhandle of Florida.

“This is getting us into some new geography,” Hasson said.

Long-Lewis distribution will be shifted to Knoxville from Birmingham, adding about 18,000 inventory items to the Forks of the River warehouse. Generally, two distribution workers are needed to support one salesperson, hence the 20 Knoxville jobs needed to support 10 Long-Lewis salespeople, Hasson said.

The addition of Long-Lewis is expected to boost total House-Hasson annual revenues to more than $200 million and add 500 dealers to its existing 2,000-dealer network, Hasson said.,

House-Hasson’s strategy is to pursue growth through acquisitions such as Long-Lewis. The largest acquisition so far was Pelham, Ala.-based Moore-Handley, Inc., which in 2009 added a sales staff of 25 people plus their territories to House-Hasson.

“This (Long-Lewis) is second only to Moore-Handley in the big acquisitions we have done,” Hasson said.

The Moore-Handley acquisition allowed the company to expand a Prichard, W. Va., warehouse operation that helped drive growth into Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, he said.

Posted in NEWS.