In an aim to broaden its distribution efforts in the Midwest, Gilford Flooring of Jeffersonville, Ind., has purchased Bruce Wholesale Flooring, based in Lexington, Ky. Specifically, the company has “combined the human, product and logistical resources of these two long-established distribution families” in an effort to “make one of the strongest distributors in the Midwest,” according to Dennis C. Cook, president of Gilford Flooring.

Cook told National Floor Trendsthat he started discussing the merger with Bruce Wholesale in November, shortly after the company’s ownership signaled that they wanted to exit the distribution business. “The ownership of Bruce Wholesale were interested in getting out of the business and we were interested in expanding our business, and in the process securing their customers and product lines,” he said. “A simple conversation led to more serious discussions. It made sense for them and for us to work together and make this happen.”

He added that the merger would allow the company to grow market share. “We have taken on certain lines that Bruce Wholesale had previously, including Azrock, Nafco, Somerset Hardwood and Floor Muffler. We are in an inventory position on all those lines,” Cook said. “By bringing new products on and some new salespeople, we’re able to get a more concentrated effort to increase our market share within our existing geography.”

David Dobbs, formerly vp sales for Bruce Wholesale, will now serve Gilford as product manager for Nafco, Somerset Hardwood, Floor Muffler and several other lines that have been added through the merger. The 30-year veteran will also serve as director of technical services, including installation training. Former Bruce staffers transitioning to Gilford are also set to include David Feeback, Heather Leis, John Peck and Jamie Houtz. “This group will add greatly to our sales team,” noted Jodie Doyle, Gilford’s general sales manager.