After 100 Years in Home Improvement, Wallauer Is Better Than Ever

Remaining to ideal: Ed Klein, COO Ethan Mason, district supervisor of the Westchester northern stores Ron Bonventre, board member and manager of paying for and inventory controls Paul Mihalchik, district supervisor for the Westchester southern retailers and Jason Jackson, manager of central distribution for the premier Wallauer place, in White Plains | Image by John Vecchiola

Throughout 4 generations and a century of assistance, community property-enhancement chain Wallauer keeps adapting to the situations in Westchester.

Lots of firms struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. But not Wallauer, a fourth-generation, spouse and children-run, paint-and-hardware chain with 15 locations in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties that is celebrating its centennial anniversary. Considered an essential business enterprise during the pandemic, Wallauer never ever shut down in the course of the disaster. It promptly built out its e-commerce capabilities — which had been nonexistent just before COVID — in March and April of 2020, so it could supply curbside pickup.

“Our small business boomed,” claims COO/CFO Ed Klein. “Even although we have been open up 100 years, we noticed a good deal of new consumers.” As a privately held organization, Wallauer doesn’t publicize its income, but Klein suggests it has found a document two a long time when it comes to sales.

Still left to correct: Ed Klein, COO Ethan Mason, district supervisor of the Westchester northern outlets Ron Bonventre, board member and manager of buying and stock controls Paul Mihalchik, district supervisor for the Westchester southern outlets and Jason Jackson, manager of central distribution for the biggest Wallauer location, in White Plains | Photograph by John Vecchiola

To mark its 100th anniversary, the 125-staff firm, headquartered in a 30,000-square-foot retail store in White Plains, has been celebrating with COVID-harmless pursuits. It is keeping a monthly raffle, with prizes these types of as Weber grills and present cards. At its Professional Shows for contractors, held in the fall, it awarded tickets to sporting situations.

Beating the odds

According to Family members Business Assessment, a peer-reviewed educational journal that covers loved ones-controlled companies, only 3% of them make it to the fourth technology. So, how did Wallauer do it?

“It’s normally been about entrepreneurial spirit and loved ones-owned business enterprise, and the differentiation a loved ones-owned business has,” says Klein.

Wallauer’s historical past commenced in 1921, in White Plains, when Clarence Rudolph Wallauer, a salesman, launched his have paint retailer (then named C.R. Wallauer & Co.) and grew to become the neighborhood Benjamin Moore paint vendor. Wallauer, identified as Wally to his clients, grew to become a perfectly-known determine in the neighborhood. Following the retail outlet made it by means of the Fantastic Melancholy, he opened a 2nd retail outlet, in 1935, in Port Chester, and expanded by adding exterior salesmen and two shipping vehicles.

By 1946, Wallauer’s son-in-regulation, architect Robert Duncan Sr., joined the corporation. They expanded the White Plains retail outlet by acquiring an adjacent making on Martine Avenue and including a large wallpaper-and-design studio known for its intensive wallpaper assortment. Duncan served as president, while his wife, Jean W. Duncan, Wallauer’s daughter, turned head designer, and son Robert Duncan Jr. labored as a stock boy.

Two decades later on, Charles Westerman joined the company, helping Duncan insert new spots in Westchester County, such as Yonkers, Yorktown, and Bedford Hills. Robert Jr. became promoting director right after returning from the services and helped to distribute the phrase about the company through radio and Tv ads.