Lampton With Flavor

Welding supply chain turns 70; expands its Great Plains network

Lampton Welding Supply, the Wichita-based equipment supplier and repair service, turned 70 earlier this month. Along with celebrating that anniversary, the company opened a new location, held an open house, and had a store giveaway.

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Lampton has been in operation as a family-owned business for 70 years, and has 17 total locations in four states (Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Missouri). The new warehouse and facility, in McPherson, Kansas, are just a block west of its previous location, but larger and able to provide more of its field services.

“We just outgrew our old building,” Brian Knoell, branch manager for the McPherson location, told The business sells welding supplies, including gas, equipment, consumable materials and safety equipment.lampmap

“The bigger space gives us more room, which means we can have more inventory,” Knoell said. “This will also give our customers easier access.”

As part of its 70th anniversary celebrations and in honor of the new location, the store had a giveaway for items like a welder, gloves and a cooler.

Lampton was officially started October 1, 1946, by Marcel L. Lampton in his garage in Wichita. After two temporary locations, the company built its permanent home in 1952 at 601 N. Washington St. in Wichita. As business grew, so did the workforce, which presently consists of 103 team members. The geographical expansion over the years reads like a brilliantly phased battle plan. On July 17, 1975 a branch was opened in Salina, Kansas in a rented building. In 1979, a new building was built by the company at a second location in Salina.

In 1985, Marcel L. Lampton retired and his son Marvin took the reins. The following year, the company assisted in founding a new corporation—Compressed Gases Inc.—which is now owned and operated by Doug and Brad Lampton.

1988 saw the company start to make regular acquisitions to fuel its growth. Airco Service Supply’s locations in Oklahoma City and Perry, Okla. were both acquired that year, followed by Findley Welding Supply’s Tulsa and Claremore, Okla. acquisitions in 1991. From 1992—1995, Lampton made five more acquisitions in the Sooner State alone.

Development of these locations over the next five years led to another mass acquisition on May 1, 2000, when Lampton acquired all six locations of Lightner Welding Supply; five of these in Kansas and one in Beatrice, Nebraska. 2002 and 2004 brought in additional locations in the major markets of Oklahoma City and Wichita, as well as a branch store in Ponca City, Okla.

Although 2007 was its last acquisition, the relocation and expanded space at the McPherson facility, which employs five people, indicates that the company doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.

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