The name LGI Industrial and Construction Supplies may not be well known in Alberta. But Paul Lantz is working to change this — one business at a time.
Lantz owns the LGI Industrial and Construction Supplies franchise in Red Deer and is the business’s regional director for Alberta. He’s been building a local customer base over the past few months and plans to open his shop at No. 5, 7875 48th Ave. next week.
“It’ll be open to the public if they want to come in and look around.”
Based in Maple Ridge, B.C., LGI Industrial and Construction Supplies sells fasteners, abrasives, cutting tools, safety supplies, welding equipment and other products. The Red Deer outlet is the first in Alberta, and is expected to serve the manufacturing, metal fabrication, drilling equipment, oil and gas, and construction sectors.
“It’s mainly wholesale,” said Lantz, who expects to deal primarily with other businesses.
In many cases, his retail shop won’t be necessary because he’ll deliver directly to customers.
“Most of the industrial supply business is handled that way.”
What distinguishes GI Industrial and Construction Supplies stores from their competitors is the fact that they are franchised, something that’s unique for the industry in Canada.
“We’re offering a little bit different kind of business model.”
Lantz said LGI Industrial and Construction Supplies has ambitious plans for Alberta, with a target of 18 franchises over the next 10 years. Red Deer is expected to serve as the distribution hub for this network.
Lantz’s 3,500-square-foot shop is big enough to maintain a good inventory of the most commonly sought items. For others, LGI Industrial and Construction Supplies has a quick-ship program that can get products here within 48 hours.
The benefit of operating as a franchise is that decisions can be made quickly and in response to customers’ needs, he said.
“I’m customizing my company to fit my customers.”
LGI Industrial and Construction Supplies currently has three outlets in British Columbia and one in Newfoundland. Lantz, who spent 25 years in the kitchen cabinet manufacturing industry and was vice-president of sales with Westridge Cabinets, thinks the company has huge potential in Alberta.
“It’s a big opportunity.”
LGI Industrial and Construction Supplies is scheduled to officially open to the public next Wednesday, with a grand opening set for Sept. 25.