No. of Recommendations: 14
I agree this is a quality company with an interesting franchise. Note however that some Lowes, and I believe HD as well, sell competing products. For example, in my prior hometown we had a HD and LOW right next to each other. HD sold SSD and LOW sold USP. The SSD display and SKU count at HD was far superior to the USP one at LOW. The SSD display had lots of "take one" flyers with project ideas, how-tos etc. I haven't checked in my new town yet, but will soon.

I have spoken with SSD's chairman, "Barc" Simpson, who is quite old but still extremely energetic. He insists you call him Barc, not Mr. Simpson, and seems about as down to earth as you can get. In speaking with him you clearly get the impression that SSD is run like a big family - all the employees are valued highly and I would expect have excellent morale. Barc unfortunately does not believe in buying back stock, he thinks there are better uses for capital and he'd rather issue stock to employees. He is clearly genuinely confident that their products are the best, most innovative, and that all the others are just copycats. I have also talked with USP and they clearly have alot of respect for SSD. I asked if he would ever sell the business, particularly if he got a call from a certain Omaha resident. It seemed clear that they would not sell while he was around, even to WEB, although the concept seemed to amuse him. He said he thinks it would be a great fit for WEB, but said he wouldn't sell even to him, as it wouldn't be fair to the employees. I'm not so sure about that, and ol' Barc may be spry but he's 84. He does own 22% of the co. Also note that Royce owns 9% - they are smart guys IMO. In any case, if the stock got too cheap I feel confident WEB or someone else would swoop in and buy it.

I don't currently own SSD but I am circling.
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