In 34 years at the helm of Richelieu, a manufacturer and distributor of specialty hardware products, Richard Lord has increased sales from the company from $30 million to $1.4 billion.
With 79 acquisitions at the counter, the chef has the stamp of a conqueror, like Alain Bouchard at Couche-Tard – an inspiration for this discreet businessman.
“I often say I don’t want some of my competitors to be run by people as determined as me! he says, laughing, during a rare interview.
Richelieu, the North American market leader, will soon hit $2 billion in sales, and after that $3 billion will have to be targeted – Richard Lord seems to have no limits to his ambitions.
“To do that, you have to do things right. It goes through the Canadian and American markets and, if necessary, across the oceans. When the time comes. »
More than 100 distribution centers
At the moment he still sees plenty of growth opportunities within the continent and the man applies a great business principle to the point: stay the course. It is specific in the geographic areas it addresses, just as it only acquires competitors or companies from a related industry.
Richelieu now has 106 distribution centers in Canada and the United States and also relies on its transactional website to serve retailers and manufacturers of furniture, kitchen cabinets and closets wherever they are in North America. You have 130,000 products at your disposal and all branches are connected to the same computer system, so you always know where to find the goods.
Because Richelieu doesn’t sell directly to consumers, I never tested his customer service, which Richard Lord describes as an obsession. Still, it’s clear that it’s a pillar of Richelieu’s success.
“Success means listening, learning and contributing to the success of our customers,” he explains. We are committed to listening to our customers, understanding current needs and informing them of new developments in order to improve their operations. »
Patience pays off
Was he thinking of building such an empire in 1988? It was his ambition, but he was clairvoyant enough to understand the game of time, like all conquerors.
“I’m not patient by nature, but in business I am and it’s important to be patient and wait for the right opportunities. »
In 1993, Richelieu went public, allowing it to continue its growth without going into debt. A looming recession does not shake Richard Lord’s confidence. Having no debt keeps the company strong, both against the bottom and against the competition.
“And the constant contact with investors who always ask good questions keeps you awake! »
At 70, the entrepreneur is not in the mood for retirement, even if he has to think about preparing for the next generation and always surround himself with the best.
Father of three children, grandfather of five grandchildren, he wants to fill their minds with beautiful experiences, and that is happening on his land in eastern Quebec; Mushroom picking, sugar shack, biking, skiing, snowshoeing. A passion never comes alone to an entrepreneur!
Richard Lord expresses some wishes for the future: that we take better care of the environment and the elderly, but also of the regions, he, who comes from Saint-Damase-de-L’Islet. health, education, transport; All of these subjects are close to his heart.
- hardware and manufacturing
number of employees
profile of Richard Lord
- Function: CEO
- Age: 70 years old
- Education: Finance