House-Hasson seizes opportunity, expands paint market

Knoxville, Tenn.-based regional hardware distributor House-Hasson Hardware is expanding its paint and sundries offerings with the addition of a new sales team from an unidentified “financially ailing paint company,” according to an article in the Knoxville News.

“We are getting full-blown into paint and paint sundries," company president Don Hasson told the news outlet.

House-Hasson, a wholesale distributor of products to independent hardware stores and lumberyards, has added a 10-person sales team and their territories from a company that Hasson declined to identify. While House-Hasson already sells paint to hardware stores and lumberyards, this will allow the company to also sell through paint stores, he said.

The Merit Group, the nation’s largest distributor of paint sundry products, filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week. The Spartanburg, S.C.-based company, which does business as Lancaster and Five Star, has obtained a commitment for a $55 million debtor in possession financing from its senior lender to continue operations during the reorganization process. But it has announced its intention to explore a possible sale as a strategic alternative. 

House-Hasson has spent $3 million in the last 15 months, adding warehouse space, new truck bays, racks, conveyor systems and technology upgrades to its warehouses as a result of the company’s 2009 acquisition of Moore-Handley, an Alabama-based hardware distributor. The distributor serves nearly 2,000 independent hardware dealers in 17 states and the Caribbean. Annual sales are approximately $200 million.