Orgill (company)

TypePrivately held company
IndustryHardware distribution
Founded1847 (1847) in Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.
FounderWilliam Orgill
Key people
  • Boyden Moore (president and CEO)
  • Eric Divelbiss (EVP and CFO)
RevenueUS$3.04 billion
Number of employees
4,868 (2020)
WebsiteOfficial website

Orgill, Inc. is an American independent hardware distributor with headquarters in Collierville, Tennessee. It is the world's largest independently owned hardlines distributor.[1][2] Founded in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1847, Orgill was Memphis's oldest operating private business, before it relocated to nearby Collierville in recent years.[3][4] It was ranked in 163rd place on the Forbes list of America's largest private companies in 2020, with revenues of $2.6 billion in 2019, surpassing $3 billion in 2020.[5][6]


Early history

Orgill Brothers & Co. building during the Civil War.

William Orgill went to the United States from England to work for his brother Joseph's importing company in New York as a traveling salesman. In 1846, William and R. T. Lamb bought a retail hardware business in Petersburg, Virginia, and in 1847 they moved the hardware business from Virginia to Memphis, Tennessee. When Lamb died in 1849, his share of the business was purchased by Henry Lownes, and the business became known as Lownes & Co. by 1850. A third Orgill brother, Edmund, also moved to the United States in 1850 to help his brother run the Memphis business, and three of his sons would later hold executive roles at the company. In 1851, the company underwent another name change and became Holyoake, Lownes & Co.[7]

Hardware distribution

Orgill Brothers & Co. order form, circa 1866.

In 1908, the company, by then known as Orgill Brothers & Co., sold its retail business to DeSoto Hardware Co. in order to focus exclusively on distribution.[8] Frederick and William Orgill both served as the company's president, and Joseph Sr. served as its vice president. William's son, Edmund succeeded him as president in 1940, and Edmund's cousin Joseph Jr. became president in 1955. In 1968, when Joseph Jr. retired, Joe Orgill III became president of Orgill Brothers & Co.[9]

In the 1970s, Orgill Brothers & Co. began a campaign of expansion through acquisition of other businesses, including C.M. McClung, Teague Hardware, and Stratton-Warren.[10] In 1981, Joe Orgill III asked Bill Fondren to take over as president of Orgill as part of a succession plan to shift the company into professional management.[11] By the mid-1980s, Joseph Orgill III and his cousin and business partner Michael McDonnell bought out the other company shareholders and became the only Orgill family members still active at the Orgill Brothers & Co. business.[7] During this time, Orgill Brothers & Co. became the fastest-growing independent distributor in the United States, and also began expanding internationally.[7] A second distribution center was built in Tifton, Georgia, in 1996 to service the Southeast and operate as an export facility.[7]

In 1996, the company officially changed its name to Orgill, Inc.[7]

Expansion and international growth

Undated photo of an Orgill Dealer Market.

In 2005, Ron Beal became president and CEO at Orgill, and Fondren moved onto Orgill’s board of directors.[12] Orgill exceeded $1 billion in sales for the first time in 2006.[13] Orgill added five new U.S. distribution centers in the 2000s and 2010s; in Inwood, West Virginia, (2000),[14] Hurricane, Utah, (2005),[15] Kilgore, Texas, (2008),[16] Sikeston, Missouri (2009)[17] and in Post Falls, Idaho (2017).[18] According to the Memphis Business Journal, Orgill's revenue nearly doubled from $1.07 billion in 2007 to $2.04 billion in 2017.[19]

In 2010, Orgill officially expanded its operations into Canada,[20] and in 2015 Orgill acquired its London, Ontario, distribution center when it purchased the Chalifour Canada Ltd. assets from TIM-BR MART Group.[21] In 2018, Orgill was awarded the President's "E" Award, honoring its contribution to US exports, by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.[22] In 2019 Orgill announced plans to open a 780,000-square-foot (72,000 m2) distribution center in Rome, New York, in early 2022.[23]

Current business

In total, including subsidiaries, Orgill employs approximately 5,000 people.[5] In 2020, the company surpassed $3 billion in annual revenue for the first time.[6] Orgill serves more than 6,000 customers operating more than 10,000 retail hardware stores, home centers, professional lumber dealers and farm stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, and in over 50 countries around the world.[24] Along with its seven distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada, Orgill has three export consolidation facilities.[25]


  1. ^ Stallard, Rachel (March 11, 2012). "Orgill Wins with 'Loyal Customer Base'". Longview News-Journal. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  2. ^ Sharp, Kevin (2018-10-09). "Remembering Joe Orgill". Memphis magazine. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
  3. ^ Sheffield, Christopher (June 28, 2009). "Many of MBJ's Top 100 Private Companies have deep roots in Memphis". Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  4. ^, The Washington Times. "Orgill to build new world headquarters in Collierville". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  5. ^ a b "Orgill". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  6. ^ a b Clark, Ken (February 10, 2021). "Orgill hammers out plan for 2021 growth". HBS Dealer.
  7. ^ a b c d e Jensen, Chris (1997). Orgill: Celebrating 150 Years of Tradition, Innovation and Service. pp. 6, 8, 9, 12, 44, 57, 62, 76.
  8. ^ Alley, Richard J. "Lasting Legacies". The Memphis News. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  9. ^ "The Hardware Connection May/June 2019 Page 62". Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  10. ^ "Joe Orgill Leaves Behind a Legacy of Achievement and Philanthropy". Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  11. ^ "The Hardware Connection May/June 2019 Page 63". Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  12. ^ "Orgill's Chairman and CEO Talks Approach to the Home Improvement Market". Hardware Retailing. 2019-01-31. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  13. ^ "Orgill's sales top $1 billion". Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  14. ^ Editor, Ed Waters, Jr News-Post Business. "Orgill moving to new Martinsburg location". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved 2020-04-22.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Orgill opens Utah warehouse". Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  16. ^ News-Journal, Longview. "Orgill chooses Kilgore as site for major expansion project". Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  17. ^ "MO governor says 70 new jobs in Sikeston due to Orgill's $10.2 million expansion". Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  18. ^ "Orgill Opens New Distribution Center". Hardware Retailing. 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  19. ^ "Texas hold 'em: Orgill doubles down with $29M investment". Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  20. ^ "Orgill expands into Canada". HBS Dealer. 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  21. ^ "Orgill Finalizes Chalifour Canada Buy". Hardware Retailing. 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  22. ^ Journal, L. B. M. (2018-05-30). "Orgill recognized with Presidential Export Award". LBM Journal. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  23. ^ Mason, Greg. "Orgill picks Rome for distribution center". Utica Observer-Dispatch. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  24. ^ "Independent Hardlines Distributor". Orgill.
  25. ^ "Press Releases". Orgill Press Releases. Retrieved 2020-04-22.

External links

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