New Hampshire-based lumber company buys Leader Home Centers

  • Tyler Brougham helps customer Doug Letourneau at the Leader Home Center branch on Bernardston Road in Greenfield. The Keene, N.H.-based Hamshaw Lumber Inc. has acquired Leader Home Centers’ five retail locations. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The Leader Home Center branch on Bernardston Road in Greenfield. The Keene, N.H.-based Hamshaw Lumber Inc. has acquired Leader Home Centers’ five retail locations. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The lumber yard at the Leader Home Center branch on Bernardston Road in Greenfield. The Keene, N.H.-based Hamshaw Lumber Inc. has acquired Leader Home Centers’ five retail locations. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Hamshaw Lumber employees Adam Clement and Sam Costin help a customer load lumber last month at the company’s Orange location. The Keene, N.H.-based company has acquired Leader Home Centers’ five retail locations. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 6/24/2021 7:27:44 PM

Hamshaw Lumber Inc. has acquired Leader Home Centers’ five retail locations and will be transitioning those stores over the next month.

The Keene, N.H.-based lumber company, which already has a location in Orange, has purchased Leader Home Centers, which has stores in Greenfield and South Deerfield, in an effort to expand more into Massachusetts and Vermont.

Company President Ken Hamshaw said the acquisition had been in the works for the past nine months and the fit makes sense as Hamshaw Lumber already has a presence in the area.

“The prior owner (of Leader Home Centers) was looking to retire and we were looking to expand,” Hamshaw explained. “They align nicely to our product mix, the culture, the people and how they do business.”

All current staff of Leader Home Centers will join Hamshaw Lumber and there will be “no changes for jobs off the bat,” he said. Each store will be rebranded, and some will receive extensive building renovations and updates to vehicles and equipment, according to a Hamshaw Lumber press release.

Hamshaw added that the merger is a chance for his company to improve its own operations when it brings the two organizations together.

“We’re going to the take the best practices of both organizations,” he said.

The sale brings an additional five lumber yards under the Hamshaw umbrella, which already has two. Hamshaw said adding these locations creates more opportunities to grow the company’s homeowner and do-it-yourself markets through its Ace Hardware cooperative member status.

“It’s a pretty big bite for us,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Hamshaw added he is “excited to serve new customers.”

Hamshaw Lumber was founded in 1980 by Ken’s father, Douglas, when he took over a bankrupt hardware store, Old Colony Lumber, in Keene, N.H. Over the years, Hamshaw Lumber expanded and now employs 165 employees, according to the release. With the Leader Home Centers acquisition, that number will grow to 243.

Leader Home Centers was started in the 1980s by Peter Filion and now employs 78 people in five locations in Greenfield, South Deerfield, Amherst, Barre and Brattleboro, Vt.

Josh Unruh, Leader Home Centers’ director of operations, said the transition has been going well.

“There’s a lot going on in the background,” Unruh said, “but as far as transitions go, it’s been pretty smooth.”

Unruh said it’s nice that everyone with Leader Home Centers will keep their jobs and he is looking forward to the merger.

“We’re excited,” Unruh said, “about the new transition and new opportunity.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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