In 1958, with $300,000 in sales, the company expanded dramatically and soon started finishing carpet as Star Finishing Company.
In 1967, a holding company was formed to acquire Philadelphia Carpet Company, founded in 1846. The holding company added Star Finishing to the fold one year later, marking the company’s first move into carpet manufacturing. The holding company went public as Shaw Industries, Inc. in 1971 with approximately $43 million in sales and 900 employees. In 1985, Shaw made its first appearance on the list of America’s largest corporations–the Fortune 500–with more than $500 million in sales and close to 5,000 employees.
Continually differentiating its service and adding value for customers motivated every major move in the company’s development, such as the following:
The desire to be the industry’s low-cost provider was also a determining factor in Shaw’s decisions, namely the acquisitions that brought such respected names as Cabin Crafts and Sutton under the Shaw umbrella. It also played a role in one of the largest and most significant moves in the company’s history: the merger of Shaw and Queen Carpets.
On January 4, 2001, Shaw began a new chapter in its long and varied history with the completion of its sale to Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the holding company of renowned investor Warren E. Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway is known for buying and holding businesses that have a dominant market share, have strong management teams, and are considered undervalued in the stock market. With the move, Shaw ended its tenure as a public company.
Today, with the leadership of Vance Bell, CEO, and Randy Merritt, President, Shaw is a full-service flooring company with more than $4 billion in annual sales and approximately 25,000 employees. The employees’ daily efforts illustrate their commitment and their determination to stay on top in an ever-changing and highly competitive marketplace.