Officially, it's "helping people build their dreams." Sounds big and noble, huh? But think about it, it's what we do, and such a mission focuses our attention always to that goal. So when we add new products, that helps our valued customers. When we change a policy or procedure, or find a new way to serve you, it helps fulfill our mission of helping you achieve your goals of building new, remodeling, or enhancing your life at home. We work to increase the VALUE of doing business with you. We hope you see greater value when you come to any of our stores, whether it is in the price of our products, the convenience of our locations, the personal attention we try to pay each customer, or the quality of the advice and help we offer. These things are very important to us, as we hope they are to you as well.
Today's Stine began in 1952, as our founder, J. W. Stine, and his partner, J.C. Carlin, established the "Starlin Lumber Company" in Sulphur, Louisiana, to supply their needs as residential building contractors. J.W. and J.C. met when both were bomber pilots in Europe during WWII. Their business partnership began after the war, and the competition was fierce, as many contractors also established "stick yards" to buy their materials. It is said that, at its height, the small town of Sulphur had NINE such yards!
Business rocked along when, beginning in 1966, the first of all six Stine sons joined Starlin. In 1974, six of Starlin ten employees were Stines (Carlin having left the company in 1952), and the name was changed to Stine Lumber. From our single store in Sulphur, we built new ones in nearby DeRidder in the 70s and Lake Charles in the 90s. Acquisitions brought new opportunities with stores in Jennings, Iowa, Alexandria, Crowley, Natchitoches, Natchez (Mississippi), and Abbeville. Today, we have built new stores in Walker, Lafayette, Jennings, Sulphur, and Natchez while refurbishing ALL our other properties simultaneously. Stine is expanding to new markets as well. More on that news as it develops!
Of course, the home improvement industry has its own history, beginning much as Stine did with those so-called "contractor yards." As more homeowners and do-it-yourselfers wanted to buy materials to do their own work, the concept of the Home Improvement Center came into vogue in the early seventies. Stine successes continued as we began to cater to the D-I-Y market. Our retail business has exploded over the years, and accounts for about two-thirds of our sales each year, with builder sales making up the balance. Stine is among the Top 100 home improvement retailers in America. Our association with Ace Hardware has been successful as well; sales figures place us fourth among all 6,000 Ace retailers worldwide!
"The Family You Can Build Around"
In the 1980s, that slogan separated our company from all others, and J.W. (and DeeDee's) six sons have made the difference. J. W. retired more than 30 years ago, leaving the sons to grow the business, and each has a different area of responsibility. Dick, though retired, is a member of the Stine LLC Board of Directors, currently serving as Chairman. Gary handles all real estate, insurance and new construction efforts. Jay and his family run our operations in DeRidder. Dennis is company president. David directs all merchandising and marketing, and Tim is the company's chief financial officer. There's a girl, too... that's Janie, who left the family business years ago to raise her four daughters while building her own successes as a sculptor. Wanna see her work? Go to http://www.lacroixartstudios.com/.
Why Stine is different from the "Big Boxes"
It's always popular to think that having a "home-owned" business is valuable for the loyalty it generates from its customers. We learned long ago that service, quality, honesty and value are what builds loyalty, because customers have a right to demand it regardless who the owners are. Even so, there ARE advantages every Stine customer can readily appreciate. For example, when you have a complaint or comment for us, it reaches a Stine brother immediately, and is often acted upon just as quickly. Next, we are undoubtedly more able to meet individual customer's needs, especially our "pro" customers, the contractors whose profitability can depend on how fast we respond.
Also, being FROM the area around our stores means we are involved in our communities to a greater degree than the local outlets of the big chains. So whether it's a youth league soccer team, or the Boy Scouts, the colleges surrounding us, or helping communities damaged by yearly hurricanes, Stine is able to contribute to these efforts more often than the national chains. Have you experienced a situation just like what we're describing? So who is more able to help you, the local decision-maker, or the corporate office back East?