The Helena, Montana LBM market might look a little crowded to an outsider. From his parking lot, Mike Wall, president at Power Townsend Company, can practically see two big box locations on I-15 and a ranch supply store even closer. But it’s not as crowded as it might seem when you consider there’s a big, Montana- sized delivery area outside of Helena to be served. It is in that market that Power Townsend is leveraging first class customer service and expanded delivery reach to keep on top of the competition.
Third-generation retailer Mike Wall has been officially involved in the business since 1972, but his unofficial involvement goes back far earlier. One of his first memories, Wall said, is coming to the store with his father on Sundays to clean, and then later graduating on to placing price stickers on merchandise.
“I think I knew I would be involved in the family business,” he said, “even though I had other thoughts when I was in business school. Once I got married and had Kevin, then I had to focus my life.” The focus Wall put into his business has paid off, so much so that his son Kevin is now a company vice president and the fourth generation Wall destined to take the reins of the company in the future.
When Mike Wall stepped into the business, Power Townsend’s focus was strictly hardware and housewares. The company his grandfather had purchased in 1942 didn’t start carrying lumber until the 1980s, after it had found a new location and expanded from 3,000 square feet to 15,000.