Pictured above are Associated Building Supply Inc.'s President Christopher Cole (left) and Vice President Scott Thurber (right). Photo by Joel Fricker.
In markets like the California coastline regions of San Francisco and San Diego, where new home builds are priced well into the millions, it pays to be an expert in your product category. For Associated Building Supply, Inc., that specialty is windows and doors. And not just any doors and windows. At ABSi, they provide windows and doors to the builders of some of the most expensive homes in the country.
Led by longtime friends Scott Thurber and Chris Cole, Associated Building Supply, Inc. has a story that differs from many building materials dealers still climbing out of the recession. For ABSi, the focus on high-end windows and door products actually kept the business growing through the recession.
The two have known each other since they were both regional sales managers for a window company in the 1980s. Cole opened ABSi’s first location in 1993 in Oxnard, California. Since then, the company has grown to 13 locations, primarily high-end product showrooms specifically displaying unique window and door products. ABSi locations include a main office based at the Oxnard location and a satellite corporate office in Auburn, California. The remaining 11 locations are showrooms/sale offices in Burlingame, Berkeley, Sonoma, Dublin, Los Gatos, Pacific Grove, Oxnard, Calabasas, Costa Mesa, Torrance, and San Diego.
The high-end market has helped ABSi grow to a 2015 total sales revenue of $30.1 million, with a 2016 projection of more than $40 million. The fact of the matter is, while the economy struggled, those with more simply struggled less. “The affluent buyer will have resources even in bad times,” Thurber said.While higher-end products for higher-end homes have always been the company’s focus, Thurber said that product selection has never been mandated as so with the sales staff. “We’ve always been a wood clad seller,” he said, “so our non-commoditized custom offerings have always been a higher percentage of our sales.”
Thurber said ABSi sales staff, guided by the company’s product portfolio, have become specialists in the luxury home market. This has helped distinguish ABSi from its competitors in the market. Click HERE for the full article.