In the mid 1960’s, a group of multi-state chain stores from the east coast expanded west across the Mississippi River. At this time, the building materials industry was involved in a three-step distribution process. The manufacturer made the product and sold it to a wholesaler. The wholesaler had sales people on the road who sold their product to a lumber dealer. The wholesalers also sold to customers of the lumber dealers. In 1965, a group of lumbers dealers from Texas formed Allied Building Stores so they could compete better against the big box stores. Allied Building Stores was established in 1965 and headquartered in Longview Texas.
Around the same time, a group of independent retailers in Louisiana was operating in a loose affiliation under the name Paul Bunyan Building Supplier. At this time, Paul Bunyan Building Supply had 10 to 12 stores. In May of 1965 Allied Building Stores and Paul Bunyan Building Supply merged to form the Allied Building Stores we know of today. Today Allied building Stores is still a corporation out of Texas but is now headquartered in Monroe LA. It has grown from the 25-30 stores it started with to over 250 store fronts in 13 states.
Our founding members saw the potential of reducing material cost by avoiding major purchases through wholesalers and brokers. They were also seeing the early version of today’s big box retailers and needed a means to be more competitive. The founding guidelines from the original “group of twelve dealers” continue today:
Former President Laddie Woods, Paul Bunyan member Frank Maxwell and Founder Jim Carlyle tell the rich history of ABS' begining. They speak to the heart of why ABS was started and take you through those first few years of expansion.