Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 96
BUSY BEAVER BUILDING CENTERS INC.
Forgotten No More
Busy Beaver's CEO aims to re-energize the company with a new strategic plan. BY KAT ZEMAN
Busy Beaver has 18 home improvement stores in
Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Beaver had become "the forgotten brand."
In 2013, Joe Kallen, an executive with an extensive background in retail and real estate
development, purchased a majority of the company's shares and
became its president and CEO. president and CEO
Since then, his objective has been www.busybeaver.com
to recapture the relevance of Pittsburg
the Busy Beaver brand as "your
neighborhood home improvement center, priced
and assorted to meet the needs of the value conscious do-it-yourselfers as well as the professional
remodeler," Kallen says.
Pittsburgh-based Busy Beaver operates 18 home
improvement stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West
Virginia and employs more than 350 people. For the
past four years, Kallen has been working to re-energize the company brand through the implementation of a new strategic plan that focuses on three
pillars: engage, enhance and expand.
fter more than 50 years in business, Busy
Beaver was one of the few surviving
home improvement retailers in a market
dominated by giants like Home Depot
and Lowe's. But even by its own reckoning, Busy
Busy Beaver is committed to expanding both organically and through acquisitions. In 2018, the company plans to open at least three new stores and as
many as five.
Since implementing its new strategic plan, four
new stores have opened. They include a full-line
home improvement center in Pittsburgh and another full-line center in Fairmont, W. Va. Full-line
stores average between 35,000 to 50,000 square
feet and feature lumberyards and a full line of
"We're a big box for the small market," Kallen
says. "You don't come to us to buy a $1,000 lawn
mower. You come to us to buy a more economical
model. I think we are good at offering high-quality
products at a value price with a high level of customer service."
The company also opened two 10,000-square-foot