In 1986, it became apparent that for Espy Lumber to maintain and grow market share while increasing gross margin, it would be necessary to make some management changes and expand its products and services to better meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated and demanding marketplace. During that year, Mike Reeves was promoted from Outside Sales to General Manager.
In 1987, the Millwork Division was established under the leadership of Don Owens, in order to expand our business in windows, doors and interior trim. The division continues to be significant to our company.
The next step was to create a showroom at the Hilton Head location, with a vastly broadened product selection, not only to obtain a more significant share of existing contractor customers’ business, but also to penetrate new contractors’ accounts and begin to address the growing remodeling market segment. Modernized facilities also improved accessibility, with the addition of off-street parking, and provided a more professional environment for our customers to make product selections.
In 1988, plans were initiated to completely gut Espy Lumber’s main 10,000 square foot building to construct offices and a 4,000 square foot showroom. Additionally, plans were made to build a new 10,000 square foot warehouse. The warehouse was completed in the spring of 1989. Construction was begun on the showroom and offices in October 1989 and the showroom opened for business in April 1990. This additional space has enabled Espy Lumber to offer a complete selection of power tools and accessories, builders’ hardware, hand tools, fasteners, and decorative hardware.