Lab Safety Supply Buys McFeely’s

Business-to-business multititle mailer Lab Safety Supply on June 1 announced it had acquired the assets of Lynchburg, VA-based McFeely’s Square Drive Screws, a woodworking tools and supplies merchant that logged more than $9 million in sales last year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lab Safety Supply, a subsidiary of $5.5 billion Chicago-based industrial supplies distributor W.W. Grainger, sells specialty business products in the safety, industrial, environmental, and homeland security markets. The acquisition of McFeely’s Square Drive Screws “will enable LSS to further penetrate the woodworking and construction markets,” Grainger chairman/CEO Richard L. Keyser said in a statement. McFeely’s serves more than 70,000 active customers, including woodworkers, handymen, home improvement professionals, construction companies, and cabinetmakers.

McFeely’s owner/president Jim Ray will stay on with the company for a year in a transition services consulting role. Lab Safety is “a great company and has been around for a long time and is well established,” Ray says. “They have a phenomenal reputation for customer service and products and standing behind their products.”

Lab Safety intends to integrate the McFeely’s operations into its Janesville and Madison, WI, locations. Ray says he has encouraged McFeelys’ 35 other employees to stay on with Lab Safety. “LSS is one of destination places in the industry that people aspire to work for,” he notes.

But Ray will remain with McFeelys, in a sense, even after his contract with the new owner is up: Lab Safety plans to maintain the McFeely’s catalog and brand, including the popular caricature drawing of Ray used throughout the catalog and Website. “The merchandising look and feel of McFeely’s will be kept similar to how it has been in the past, as we feel that is an important part of their success,” says Grainger spokesperson Robb Kristopher.