What A Rush

Creative programs and a focus on people keep Stampede Tool running strong.


“You can’t worry about failing, you have to keep looking at ways to succeed,” states Rich Kuhn, president and founder of Chicago-based Stampede Tool. It’s a motto that must have been tested more than once in growing his warehouse distribution business from six products sold out of a garage to an inventory that now includes over 185 lines and greater than 20,000 SKUs, which Stampede turns eight times a year.

After a knee injury sent him from the bottled water delivery business, Kuhn jumped on a Matco truck for two years. During this time he recognized the opportunities a strong tool and equipment warehouse could capitalize upon in the Midwest. And due to his relationships with local mobile tool dealers, a connection with his customer base was easily established.

Within a month Kuhn’s business outgrew the garage, and three years and four new buildings later, Stampede was utilizing over 14,000 square feet of storage space. The company’s current location provides over 40,000 square feet.

“Success is in the details, and we’re very good at what we do,” states Kuhn, when asked about a business that has had only one down year in its history. These details are especially prominent when looking at three key areas of Stampede’s operation:

  • Creative marketing/merchandising programs.
  • Inventory controls.
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