110 years ago a hardware and lumber brand was born, and for the next 94 years it lived as one of Canada’s largest and most well known.
Beaver Lumber had 138 stores at the time Molson (yes, that Molson) sold it to Home Hardware in 1999 for $68 million. The sale gave the parent company a profit of $28 million after their initial purchase price of $40 million in 1972.
The Beaver Lumber brand was committed to community based retail outlets. From the beginning as the Banbury Bros. Lumber Company in Wolseley, Saskatchewan they worked to build their grass roots brand community across the country. They also had terrifically 80’s television commercials, that we couldn’t help but share at the bottom of this post.
In the end Beaver Lumber didn’t die because they betrayed their community, or because they stopped offering quality products, they lost the competition with Home Hardware and their parent company decided to sell the brand for a profit in the face of growing competition.
The purchase itself by Home Hardware was most likely part of that brand’s efforts to stay alive with the expansion of Home Depot to Canada in the mid-90’s and the major competition that came with it.
With it’s green and yellow colour scheme, and memorable skipping beaver mascot, Beaver Lumber was once a beloved Canadian brand. But now, like so many others, it’s merely a memory.