By Matthew Spieler
DALTON—Add Stuart Flooring to Shaw Industries’ wood portfolio as it announced the purchase of “substantially all” of the assets of the hardwood strip manufacturing facility located in Stuart, Va. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Stuart manufactures unfinished solid wood flooring and unfinished parquet flooring for residential applications. In addition to retailers and distributors, its customers include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
The purchase includes Stuart’s production, maintenance, boiler, drying and transportation facilities, which total nearly 200,000 square feet, as well as its approximately 140 employees, including general manager Doug McDaniel, who has been heading the operation since 2004.
Vance Bell, Shaw’s CEO, said the acquisition “enhances our solid wood supply chain and substantially increases both our sales capacity and product capability. Stuart’s reputation as a high quality producer is a great fit with our Zickgraf solid wood assets.”
Don Finkell, president and CEO of Shaw’s Anderson Hardwood Floors division, who will have ultimate responsibility for the Stuart operation, added, “Stuart brings an additional solid hardwood heritage, allowing us to strengthen product offerings already available through Zickgraf. The acquisition doubles the capacity of quality, competitively priced, solid hardwood flooring available to customers of the Shaw and Anderson brands.”
Shaw said the acquisition will be handled in a manner consistent with the way it has handled the acquisitions of Anderson and Zickgraf. “The Stuart brand will continue to operate as it has for many years,” Finkell explained. “We just want to integrate them into the Shaw family and give them the competitive advantages that come from being part of the bigger organization.”
Stuart’s history dates back to 1922, but it really begins in 1949, when Virgil R. Williams bought the business. In 1957, his son Buddy joined the company full-time. In 1969, he expanded the company into particleboard production. In 1977, the Stuart Board Co. became a division of Masonite Corp, but in 1982, Buddy re-purchased the flooring plant and launched Stuart Flooring Corp. in July 1984. In 1998, he sold the mill to Tarkett, but remained general manager until 2003, when Gary Birkett took the helm temporarily until McDaniel came on board.
Bell concluded the purchase is “another step [for Shaw] in becoming our customers’ preferred hardwood vendor in quality and styling.”