Public CompanyIncorporated: 1974Employees: 701Sales: $63.7 million (2000)Stock Exchanges: NASDAQTicker Symbol: MTINNAIC: 333414 Heating equipment Manufacturing (Except Electric and also Warm waiting Furnaces); 335221 Household cooking Appliance Manufacturing; 336212 van Trailer Manufacturing; 337214 Nonwood Office Furniture Manufacturing

Martin Industries, Inc., based in Florence, situated in the northwest corner of Alabama, manufactures appliances and utility tools in two sector segments: house heating and recreation and other products. Martin’s house heating products, i beg your pardon account for around two-thirds the the company’s sales, are produced and also sold under the Atlanta Stove, Hunter, young name Fireplaces, young name Gas Products, prime Heat, and also Warm Morning brand names. Included are a range of vented and also vent-free gas furnaces and also heaters and a wide variety of gas logs, gas stoves, prefabricated gas and also wood fireplaces, and also gas inserts. Martin, i beg your pardon manufactures its currently at 2 plants, one located in Florence and the other in Ontario, Canada, industries its assets through a selection of distribution channels in both the united States and also Canada. The company’s recreation and other products are produced and also sold under Broilmaster and NuWay brand names and also include gas barbecue grills and utility trailer kits. They are offered in all fifty states and in Canada, Mexico, southern America, and Europe. An ESOP firm since 1992, around a third of martin is owned by that is employees.

You are watching: King stove and range company history

1905-41: boy name Brothers establish Three Companies

It remained in 1905, simply after the turn of the 19th century, that 2 brothers, W.H. Martin Sr. And also Charles Martin, established King cooktop and selection Company, a small cast stole foundry in Sheffield, Alabama. The foundry do coal and wood heaters, cooking stoves and also ranges.

The Martins broadened their service in 1918, when they purchased a financially sinking cooktop foundry in Florence, just across the river from Sheffield. The brothers integrated the acquired service as Martin cooktop and range Company, a separate service from King Stove and Range. Over there they make coal and also wood stoves and gray stole castings. The foundry likewise turned out actors hollowware, steel skillets, and clothes-pressing irons recognized as “sad” irons.

The Martins again expanded their holdings in 1939, as soon as they travel to adjacent Huntsville, Alabama, come bid on part machinery being auctioned turn off at a bankrupt production plant. They choose to bid top top the whole operation, not just the equipment, and also their bid won. The Martins turn the operation right into their third business, boy name Stamping and Stove Company, i beg your pardon began turning out a small line the unvented gas heaters.

1941-76: Martin-Owned companies Diversify

During people War II, both that the Martins’ foundries produced magazine heaters because that the Army, and also Martin Stamping made bomb crates and other strategic materials. With the end of the war, however, the providers returned to manufacturing their lines of gas, wood, and coal heating equipment. They would add electrical heating equipment in the late 1950s, when Martin Stamping and also Stove began making a line of electrical heaters at its facility in Huntsville. In ~ just few years, need for its electrical heaters led martin Stamping and Stove to open a new plant, located in Athens, Alabama. It went into operation, in 1966, together the company’s electrical Heater Division. Also located in Athens, the martin Fireplace department began quick growth, thanks in part to the advent of boy name Firecones in 1968 and zero-clearance fireplaces in 1970.

On January 1, 1974, the 3 companies comprising the young name holdings an unified to form Martin Industries, Inc. Under the reorganization plan, operational manage was combined, and also in June 1976, the company’s executive team collection up new main administration workplaces in Florence. In that exact same year, also in Florence, martin Industries established a central engineering facility.

1977-90: Martin expands Its Facilities and Acquires various other Companies

While the reorganization and also structural changes were in progress, the Sheffield tree discontinued that foundry operations and also was converted right into a stamping and also fabricating plant. In addition, the Florence plant to be retooled into a extremely automated foundry to fulfill Martin Industries’ casting demands as well as those of other client companies.

In the late 1970s, the company’s require for additional manufacturing an are prompted Martin come buy added facilities. Towards the finish of 1977, it bought a plant situated in Americus, Georgia, where, in 1978, it began producing that is Ashley heat of heaters. That also added a 200,000 square foot building in Huntsville. V the enhancement of the facility, formerly owned by Genesco, Martin’s complete manufacturing and also warehouse floor an are reached 1.2 million square feet.

The company’s development through acquisition continued in the beforehand 1980s. First, in 1980, the purchased the Edison line of dehumidifiers native McGraw Edison. Next, in 1982, it gained the Sahara line from Hobart Manufacturing, which created its dehumidifiers for general Electric.

Other transforms came later on in the decade, notably in 1987, once Martin sold its Florence foundry come several previous employees, who gone into a long-term covenant with martin to provide it with its needed actors iron. That very same year, boy name purchased the wood and also gas departments of Atlanta Stove, which had been just one of Martin’s chief rivals for number of years. Young name then moved the to produce of Atlanta Stove’s products to its factory in Huntsville and also Athens and moved that sales administration to offices in Florence.

In a calculate strategy come decrease the influence of seasonal sales and also thereby accomplish a higher and much more efficient use of its manufacturing capacity, in 1988 Martin obtained the NuWay heat of utility trailer kit and, in 1990, the Broilmaster heat of gas barbecue grills. In part, this product lines were purchased because their sales climbed throughout the warmer month of the year, which contrasted with the company’s house heating products, i beg your pardon sold finest in the colder seasons.

Martin additionally diversified into a non-season market, even prior to acquiring Broilmaster. In 1989, it purchased Filex, Inc., one Ossining, brand-new York firm that manufactured and marketed steel office furniture that it marketed through major retail outlets. In the third quarter of the year, Martin included production of the Filex desks and filing cabinets right into its Sheffield and also Huntsville plants. In 1990, Martin also expanded that is gas heater currently when, in the same acquisition that carried Broilmaster into its this firm fold, it included the warm Morning line of vented heaters to its offerings. The purchase included a basic in Washington Park, Illinois, where both Broilmaster barbecues and Warm Morning heaters were made.

1992-96: Martin develops ESOP and also Goes Public

At the beginning of 1992, young name instituted one Employee stock Ownership setup (ESOP), and in the adhering to year the ESOP purchased a big block that the company’s share which then became easily accessible to eligible employees over prolonged time. In the following year, the firm sold turn off its manufacturing plant in Americus, Georgia, and its heat of dehumidifiers.

Martin Industries finally went publicly in 1995, do an early public offering (IPO) the 2.3 million shares of typical stock. It gone into the public sector in stimulate to obtain funds for more acquisitions, make resources improvements, and also develop new products. Amongst other things, the funds assisted finance the company’s growth in Canada. At an early stage in 1996, it perfect its acquisition of Hunter Energy and also Technologies Inc. And also its sister company, Ontario, Inc., by purchasing all the impressive shares that the two corporations. Come buy them, Martin created a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary, Ontario, Inc. The total purchase price paid by martin was around $1.94 million, consisting of cash, promissory notes, and funds paid into escrow. In January 1997, Hunter Energy and Ontario combined to kind Hunter an innovation Inc. Hunter continued to run in the 100,000 square foot plant situated on a 12 acre site in Orillia, Ontario, production a line of gas space heaters and pre-fabricated fireplaces.

1997-2001: firm Faces challenging Years at Close that Century

In February 1997, Martin discontinued its to produce of office furniture, bowing to increased competition and also only marginal sector success. In June the the following year, it likewise moved its manufacturing of gas grills, gas logs, and also free-standing vent-free heaters from its facility in Washington Park, Illinois, to its Athens and also Huntsville, Alabama facilities.

Company Perspectives:

Our mission is: (1) To carry out our customers through the high quality products that us would mean as consumers. Boy name ’s focus on quality extends from the initial concept and also product design through production and also customer service. We are customer-driven. (2) To carry out our employees with a working atmosphere that is motivating and rewards them for achieving the company’s goals. Ours employees are Martin’s crucial resources. (3) To carry out our shareholder with terrific return on their investment. Revenues ensure continued growth opportunities for our agency and ours employees.

In the fall of 1998, Robert L. Goucher replaced William H. Young name III as the company’s CEO and also president, a move in component made since of martin Industries’ need for some fresh strategic planning. Goucher come over from his positions as president and CEO of StarMark, Inc., a subsidiary the Masco Corporation. Based in Sioux Falls, Idaho, StarMark to be a manufacturer ofhigh-end kitchen cabinets. While in ~ the helm of StarMark, and in previous executive, management positions he organized with Ryobi phibìc America, Goucher’s responsibilities included strategic planning as well as operations, sales, service development, and quality control.

The late 1990s verified to be very troubling years because that Martin Industries. The company’s jae won setbacks compelled the to take into consideration stringent respond to measures, consisting of the revenue of few of its divisions. Martin’s network losses for 1998 got to $3.5 million, then ballooned to $6.2 million the next year. Goucher, quoted in an write-up in TimesDaily, suggested that “the year 1999 to be very daunting for the company, that employees and stockholders,” and also further shown that in 2000 the agency was seeking means to gain back its jae won health. One choice was to offer off some or every one of its product lines. In fact, it had actually started to do simply that in 1999, once it sold its Ashley hard fuel heater division. Selling the whole enterprise come a “strategic partner” was additionally under consideration, a partner who, Goucher said, “Will strengthen our place in the industry or possibly carry us brand-new markets, or utilize some of our to work capability.”

In 2000, Martin markets still employed in between 150 and also 200 civilization in northwest an ar of Alabama well-known as the Shoals, about 400 at its Athens plant, and also another 50 at its Canadian operation in Ontario. In the year, as component of its turnaround effort, it increased its Sheffield operation to allow the plant to assemble gas fireplace log in sets and utility trailers. The company also opened up a new warehouse, shipping, and distribution center at the Sheffield site, and additionally upgraded the plant’s equipment and began developing brand-new product lines. However, in ~ the very same time, that consolidated part operations and also closed its plant in Huntsville, and, late in 2000, offered its Washington Park, Illinois, production plant and some the its equipment.

The year likewise saw a readjust at the top as soon as John L. Duncan replaced Goucher together president and CEO. Duncan, who had been a manager of the firm since 1999, was formerly the president and also CEO of Murray Ohio production Co. Goucher, back no longer involved in the company’s day-to-day operations, to be still affiliated in plan strategic options with the company’s investors.

At the end of 2000, Duncan had to face expected yet nevertheless really disappointing financial realities. The firm reported one more net loss, this time climbing to $24.6 million, or $3.19 every share. Sales merely plummeted, falling to $63.7 million, under 29 percent indigenous the company’s 1999 sales the $89.2 million. The company’s drop in sales in component resulted indigenous its inability to manufacture and ship its hearth commodities on time since of troubles encountered once Martin placed in place a brand-new distribution device at the begin of 2000. However, through the exemption of Broilmaster premium barbecue grills, sales for the company’s assets fell throughout the board.

In 2001, Martin, under Duncan’s tutelage, take it several actions to against its sagging sales, including some belt tightening measures. Among other things, it moved its NuWay Trailer division to its tree in Canada and also discontinued assembling both energy trailers and also log sets at its facility in Sheffield. The agency was additionally planning some brand-new strategic initiatives, consisting of the choice of divesting that is Broilmaster Premium Gas Grill line in order to focus an ext sharply on its Hearth and Heating divisions. It to be hoped that such actions would shortly return the company to profitability.

Key Dates:

1905:W.H. Martin, Sr., and also his brother, Charles, found King cooktop and range in Sheffield, Alabama.1918:The martin brothers purchase a range foundry located in Florence, Alabama, combine it together Martin oven and selection Company.1939:The Martins purchase a plant in Huntsville, Alabama, which i do not care Martin Stamping and Stove Company.1966:Martin Stamping and Stove agency builds a new plant in Athens, Alabama, because that the company’s electrical Heater Division.1968:The firm introduces boy name Firecones.1970:Martin starts manufacturing and also marketing zero-clearance fireplaces.1974:The three companies organized by the Martins unify to end up being Martin Industries, Inc.1976:Company opens up its central Administration offices in Florence.1977:Martin buys a tree in Americus, Georgia.1980:Company purchases a heat of dehumidifiers native McGraw Edison.1987:Martin sells its Florence foundry to former employees and also acquires the wood and also gas divisions of Atlanta Stove.1988:Company repurchase NuWay production Co.1989:Martin acquires Filex heat of steel office furniture.1990:Company acquires Broilmaster heat of gas barbecue grills and Warm Morning line of vented heaters.1993:Martin introduces its collection of vent-free gas logs and also fireplaces; firm sells that is Americus facility and also its dehumidifier line.1994:Company introduces heat of free-standing, vent-free heaters.1995:Martin walk public with an IPO.1996:Company repurchase Hunter Energy and Technologies Inc. And also Ontario Inc.1998:Martin consolidates its manufacturing by moving part of its operation from Illinois come its tree in Athens and also Huntsville.1999:Martin sells its Ashley solid fuel heating department to United says Stove Company.

In Martin’s favor is the truth that the manufactures goods for a solid sector with fairly predictable demands. However, every of the market segments in which the firm operates is cyclical, and also its sales are impacted by general economic cycles, consumer confidence, inflation, and other factors outside its control, such together the need for brand-new housing and the accessibility of financing. Furthermore, residence heating product sales room seasonal in nature and are directly impacted by weather conditions, so the firm will always face risks beyond those inevitably enforced by commercial competitors. Component of Martin’s difficulties in 1998 and also 1999 developed from the truth that sales the its heating equipment declined since those years had very mild winters,some the the warmest ever before recorded through the national Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. Still, boy name is not in a horrible volatile industry and does no face any looming hazards from either new technologies or competitive industries. Its chances of getting ago on a solid profitability track remained strong at the begin of the new millennium, despite just exactly how long that can take to be uncertain.

Principal Subsidiaries

Hunter modern technology Inc.; NuWay Trailer.

Principal Competitors

Barbecues Galore Limited; CFM Majestic Inc.; HON industries Inc.; Lennox global Inc.; Temtex Industries, Inc.; Weber-Stephen commodities Co.

Further Reading

Briner, Russell F., et al., “Coping with adjust at young name Industries,” Management audit (USA), July 1989, p. 45.

“Cooking with Gas,” USA this particular day Magazine, July 1998, p. 94.

Corey, Russ, “Sale an choice for Financially Struggling boy name Industries,” TimesDaily.com, in march 31, 2000.

“Martin Industries, Inc. Announces tree Consolidation,” business Wire, December 9, 1999.

“Martin sectors Inc.-Financial Results,” Market new Publishing, respectable 16, 2001.

“Martin markets Names Robert L. Goucher President and also Chief executive Officer,” organization Wire, September 28, 1998.

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“Martin offers a Wide selection of new Fireplace Products,” professional Builder and also Remodeler, January 15, 1992, p. 290.