Flooring wholesale distributor E.J. Welch Co. has acquired the Merle B. Smith Co. of Burr Ridge, Ill.

“The acquisition provides many benefits to the loyal customers of [Merle] – namely a greater range of products and services. In addition to the Burr Ridge location, our customers will also have a second fully stocked location in Elk Grove Village, Ill. at E.J. Welch's new 75,000 square foot facility, complete with classroom and training space hosting regularly scheduled National Wood Flooring Association installation training classes," said Dominic Reda, president of Merle.

Incorporated in 1971, Merle grew to become a large Chicago area hardwood flooring distributor. Having successfully led the company for the last 44 years, owners Merle B. Smith—age 84 and Dominic J. Reda—age 69, sought a buyer to first secure the future for the business and its employees for another 44 years; and second, to finally be able to retire.  

“We are keeping the Merle B. Smith Co. name indefinitely and retaining all employees – except for Merle and Dominic, who are retiring.  Brian Quinn was recently hired to manage our unfinished hardwood business, while Ryan Reith will head up Merle B. Smith Co. customer service in Elk Grove Village," said Michael Welch, president of E.J. Welch.