Bliffert Lumber & Hardware

Second Year Winner


Bliffert Lumber & Hardware

1014 E. Chambers St., Milwaukee  •
Year Founded: 1904
Product or Service Offered: Lumber, building supplies, hardware and millwork through a mix of traditional industrial lumberyards, new construction yards and a neighborhood hardware store.
Vice President: Eli Bliffert
Projected 2016 Revenue: $70 million
Target Clientele: Builders, industrial consumers, property maintenance companies, homeowners and anyone with lumber or hardware needs of any size.

Eli Bliffert
Eli Bliffert

What has fueled your company’s growth?

“We’re comfortable pushing into new markets and investing in our expansion. Through consolidation with our competitors, we have brought several unique businesses into the Bliffert family and we now have the ability to serve every type of client. We have traditional industrial yards, new construction yards and a neighborhood hardware store. Since 2004, we’ve expanded from two lumber yards and 20 employees to eight locations and 150 employees.”

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What is the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth?

“The ability for people to purchase almost anything online can be a threat to any retail establishment. But many of our customers tend to prefer the customer service and insight provided by our staff members over the ease of purchasing something online. Our diverse offerings also really help us out in this regard. Chances are that someone with a substantial project will stop at their local Bliffert location rather than try to order their material online or take their chances at a big box store. By getting to know our customers, we can provide a very different sort of experience.”

What is the outlook for your industry?

“The outlook remains positive. Construction activity is picking up and further improvements are expected.”

What is your company’s most important growth strategy?

“Our strategy is simple, and that’s to continue providing a better experience for our customers. Bliffert Lumber & Fuel Co. operates in eight locations and each serves a unique need in our community. This also gives us a good deal of leverage: if someone needs a product or service that’s not available at their neighborhood store or yard, we can easily remedy that by calling one of our other locations.”

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