First Companies Plans Wisconsin Distribution Center

The parent of First Supply, Gerhard’s and other distributors called it a "significant milestone."

Rendering of the new First Companies distribution center in West Salem, Wis.
Rendering of the new First Companies distribution center in West Salem, Wis.
MSI General Corporation

LA CROSSE, Wis. — First Companies on Monday announced plans to build a cutting-edge, 308,000-square-foot distribution center in West Salem, Wisconsin, a strategic move aimed at enhancing customer service and optimizing supply chain efficiency.

The new distribution center, with its state-of-the-art technology and innovative logistics solutions, marks a significant milestone in First Companies' commitment to delivering unparalleled service to its valued customers and an outstanding employee experience. 

“For First Companies, this project reflects our commitment to continuous innovation in how we deliver projects and solutions for all of our key partners: customers, vendors, and employees,” said Katie Poehling Seymour, president and CEO. 

The First Companies Central Distribution Center will begin construction in April 2024 with operations to begin during the first quarter of 2025.

"We are thrilled make this investment in Western Wisconsin, where our business was founded 126 years ago. Over the past five generations, we’ve grown across the upper Midwest, but our hub has always been in La Crosse County.”

Established in La Crosse, First Companies is a regional distributor with 52 locations, including 28 First Supply distribution branches, five First Waterworks branches, one CDC, 14 Gerhard’s Kitchen, Bath and Lighting stores, and four Kohler Signature Stores by First Supply in the Upper Midwest. Founded in 1897, First Companies employs over 650 people and is a family-owned, single-source provider of HVAC-R, builder, plumbing, lighting, waterworks, industrial PVF, pump, well and septic supplies.

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