Dennis Company has been a household name in Grays Harbor and beyond for over a century. From their humble beginnings as a transportation business back in 1905 to present day, the company has experienced many changes that have helped shape them into the powerhouse that they are today.

Dennis Company Dennis Transfer and Storage Building
Stewart Lake Dennis (S. L.) joined P. W. Shepard to form the Shepard & Dennis Transfer Company in the early 1900s. Photo courtesy: Dennis Company

As is with most longstanding businesses, change is inevitable. Brothers Brent and Randy Dennis, current store owners and great-grandsons to the company’s founding father, have made the decision to sell the five Dennis Company locations to Westlake Ace Hardware, with the sale taking full effect late March 2018.

Although Westlake has been in operation for more than 113 years, their modest beginnings have helped instill the quality of service that they bring to the plate. With well over 100 stores across the country, this latest purchase will be their first venture on the West Coast.

This new experience in Washington State fits in with the other store locations that Westlake oversees having the same small town feel that Dennis Company is known for. Not falling into the mold of larger corporate stores is an aspect that Brent and Randy wanted to ring true for the future of their company.

Dennis Company Farm and Feed
Dennis Company’s great products will remain the same. They will continue to carry high-quality livestock food and supplies, building and farming materials and equipment, and essential fence building supplies. Photo credit: Kelsey Norvell

“I know that change can often be intimidating, but I want to assure the public that things really are staying the same,” explains Brent. “Although a few of the higher up positions will be handled by the Westlake department, the management team that is currently in place will remain the exact same. All of the other store employees will also remain the same, because we know they are a big part of why this company is so well recognized in the area.”

Westlake has experience and knowledge that can only heighten the current successes of Dennis Company. They know and appreciate that small businesses have reputations to uphold and that not everything necessarily needs modification once ownership has changed hands.

A few of the aspects that will remain the same include the management team, store workers, the Dennis Company name, type of products on the shelves that consistently change with the seasons and the quintessential hometown feel.

Dennis Company Workwear
Ensuring that the apparel and workwear in store matches every member of the family’s needs, Dennis Company carries products ranging from the toughest work wear in the county, to fashionable rain boots and accessories. Photo credit: Kelsey Norvell

While most everything is remaining how it currently stands, one exciting change that will come with the Westlake acquisition is the instillation of the Ace Rewards Program. This program will give the many loyal customers of Dennis Company the opportunity to earn reward points when purchasing products. Customers will receive points for every purchase that they make, and for every dollar spent, will earn ten points. Once 2,500 points have been earned, they will receive a $5 reward. Specialty coupons, special deals for additional savings and simple, online filing for exciting rebates are also part of this new rewards program coming in the next few months.

The Dennis brothers are confident with their decision and truly feel like they have found a company with the same core values that they’ve been passionate about instilling throughout the years. Westlake recognizes that the goodwill that has been created through the excellent relationships with existing customers must be protected by working hard to keep these customers happy for many years to come.

Dennis Company Shepard Dennis Trans Co Photo with Horses
Historical photos such as this one are hung throughout the store, honoring the company’s long history. Photo courtesy: Dennis Company

“I will be staying on through a transition arrangement to ensure a smooth handover of the business,” says Brent. “I plan on being around for the next few months for training purposes.” Although it may currently be the slow season for gardening and other products in the store, there is a lot of new freight, inventory and many days spent traveling to buy product before the busy season begins. Brent is adamant about assuring everything gets handled before he officially takes a step back.

“Our hope,” expresses Brent, “for the sale of the company is to truly give the community a positive future that will thrive for many more generations to come.”

Brent and Randy are available to answer any questions or concerns that the public may have. Visit one of the Dennis Company locations in Aberdeen, Elma, Long Beach, Montesano and Raymond for their excellent selection of hardware and general merchandise.

Featured photo credit: Kelsey Norvell


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