President and CEO Brian McCoy and Vice President of Field Support Meagan McCoy Jones, McCoy’s Building Supply, San Marcos, TX.
McCoy’s Building Supply: Serving Repeat Customers Since 1927
By Michelle Keller
San Marcos, TX—McCoy’s Building Supply offers a vast array of building materials “from roof to slab, and everything in between,” states the company website. Headquartered here, McCoy’s is among the largest family-owned businesses in the building materials industry.
The company purchases a quarter of a billion board feet annually of Softwood lumber and several thousand truckloads of Softwood panels.
“We’ve established ourselves as a company that not only offers the building materials our customers need at the prices they can afford, but as a leader in the communities we serve,” Vice President of Field Support Meagan McCoy Jones explained. A fourth generation company, Jones said her great-grandfather began the business more than 85 years ago. “My great-grandfather, Frank, was a contract roofer in Houston, and that’s how the family was introduced to the business.”
Frank McCoy moved to Galveston and opened McCoy Roofing Company in 1927. Frank’s son, Emmett, grew up in the business. Following high school, Emmett attended New York Trade School. He then worked in the shipyards of Orange, TX, before joining the Army to serve in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, Emmett came back to Galveston to make the family business his career.
Big-box retailing has seen an increase in many of the company’s markets, and the process of re-defining McCoy’s customers, products, and services began with a new emphasis on professional contractors and tradespeople.
While the roofing business was strong in Galveston, Emmett believed there was a greater opportunity. He had his eye on a company outside of Texas that sold wholesale building materials to the public, and he believed McCoy’s could do the same. The front of the roofing supply business became a small sales floor and the beginning of McCoy’s retail business. Emmett expanded the company to two locations in 1960. In 1961, Hurricane Carla hit the Texas Gulf Coast as a category four hurricane and devastated Galveston Island. McCoy’s sales topped the $1 million mark for the first time that year, with Emmett insistent that prices remain stable during such a difficult time for Galveston residents. He set the tone for integrity and established a legacy of fair dealing that McCoy’s continues to emphasize today.
The business grew rapidly through the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s as a cash-and-carry business. Emmett retired from the company in 1997, leaving the leadership to his sons.The next several years saw an increase of big-box retailing in many of the company’s markets, and the process of re-defining McCoy’s customers, products, and services began with a new emphasis on professional contractors and tradespeople. The company added outside sales people, a fleet of delivery trucks, in-house credit, and increased its SKU count dramatically.
When asked about the current trends in home construction in regards to forest products, Jones offered, “More people ask about the source of their materials than ever before. Especially in custom homes, outdoor living space is becoming as important as indoor living space and that translates to a bigger demand for timber products. We love that type of business and we have great vendor partners. We also see growing interest in engineered wood. Engineered products make better use of wood fiber, which pleases folks interested in building a green home with responsible products, but they also often make for a better built, more stable home.”
McCoy’s offers on-site sales assistance to many of its customers.
With locations in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Mississippi, McCoy’s lumberyards are somewhat autonomous, although most purchases of McCoy’s stock are done at Headquarters. “At McCoy’s, we’re blessed with well-seasoned managers. Those in fast-moving markets are given latitude to make certain purchases at the store level, which are coordinated with the purchases made at Headquarters. We want our store managers to focus on serving the customer, so our buyers at HQ shoulder the load,” explained Jones. McCoy’s procures lumber from mill direct locations and distribution centers, and a handful of its stores have rail directly into the yard. “Since the majority of our locations don’t have direct rail, we can move product from the Northwest through a reload center. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ way to order and receive products at McCoy’s,” Jones elaborated.
As for logistics Jones said, “We have our own fleet of trucks and drivers. The majority of the loads they carry are from the store to the jobsite or transfers between stores. Using our own trucks gives us the ability to get product out to our customers as quickly as they need it.”
When asked about McCoy’s views on sustainable forestry and certified products Jones said, “Wood is one of the world’s most renewable resources, and whether it’s SFI or FSC certified, it's harvested with a plan to grow more trees and produce more wood. Virtually all the Softwood we sell is SFI-certified.”
From that standpoint, McCoy’s is always looking for vendors who are being responsible, and Jones explained that most vendors are.“We offer FSC-certified material through one of our Austin-area facilities. If that’s important to our customers, we can definitely meet that need. But because of our geography, if you’re building a LEED-certified building and are looking for qualified Softwood, it makes just as much sense to purchase “locally sourced” product, defined as within 500 miles, like Southern Yellow Pine, instead of bringing in FSC-certified product by rail from the Northwest.”
As one of the largest family-owned businesses in the building supplies industry, McCoy’s has established itself as a company that not only offers the products customers need at the prices they can afford, but as a community leader as well.
In reference to what sets McCoy’s apart from their competitors, Jones explained, “We’re unique in that we sell to professional customers but we still maintain a retail footprint. That gives us a couple of advantages. First, if you are a professional customer, that means that we have access to resources, quick delivery, outdoor lumberyards and vast product offerings. We target our retail customers by staying open on Saturdays, maintaining a robust product list and being knowledgeable about specialty products.”
“On the technology side, we don’t do Installed Sales because we would be in competition with our professional customers, but a lot of our retail customers are looking for somebody to build a deck or remodel their kitchen. So we created the McCoy’s Contractor Network. The network gives us a chance to list our homebuilders and tradespeople in a searchable directory. We host their customizable page for free on our website so our retail customers can log on to our website 24/7 to search for a service of their choice. All customers can order products online and take advantage of online bill pay. We try to serve all of our customers well so that each group benefits from the service we are providing to the other.”
Jones’ grandfather, Emmett, and his wife, Miriam, believed in giving back to the community. The McCoy family donated a $20 million endowment to Texas State University, and subsequently the Emmett and Miriam McCoy College of Business was named in their honor. According to local sources, the McCoys also financially supported other community projects, including womens’ and animal shelters.
McCoy’s provides quality building products and services to their “Born to Build” customers with a valued team of unique people who are committed to both professional and personal growth and Jones said the culture of McCoy’s Building Supply is specifically named “Business As UnUsual.” “The ‘BAU’ philosophy demonstrates the vision and values of our family business. We celebrate an intense work ethic; yet we affirm that life is more than work. We must be profitable in our operations while always striving to make McCoy’s a safe and enjoyable workplace,” shared Jones.
McCoy’s provides quality building products and services to their “Born to Build” customers with a valued team of unique people who are committed to both professional and personal growth.
Key leadership at McCoy’s includes: Brian McCoy, president and CEO, Chuck Churchwell, board of directors, Meagan Jones, vice president of field support, Dennis Strong, senior vice president and CIO, John Meeks, senior vice president of corporate development, Rick Neal, senior vice president and CFO, James Lewallen, vice president of store operations, Dan Stauffer, vice president of marketing and real estate, Kent Williams, vice president of human resources and loss prevention, and Art Johnson, vice president of store development and asset management. For more information visit www.mccoys.com.
Meagan McCoy Jones was recently named one of the hardware industry’s eight Young Retailer of the Year recipient’s by the North American Retail Hardware Association.