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Shelving, Inc. — A 50 Year Journey

Sunday, August 1, 2010

By: Samantha Donisi

After 6 recessions and 50 years in the market, Shelving, Inc is still going strong. The company was founded in Detroit in 1960 by a young entrepreneur who felt that owning his own business would be more fulfilling than working as a sales rep for another company. Jack Schodowski built his company the old-fashioned way – through hard work and lots of door to door sales calls.

Today, the company works in both the private and commercial sector, designing everything from military storage to organizational tools for children’s rooms.

They specialize in heavy-duty shelving, racks, wire shelving, lockers and other storage equipment for restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, retail stores, distribution centers, government facilities and military installations.

“Because we don’t cut corners, we have never provided a shelving or rack system that has failed under weight stresses,” said Shelving, Inc. president Joe Schodowski. “We engineer our shelving systems to meet and exceed our customer’s storage capacities and specifications. We don’t under spec our products just to win a job.”

Shelving can aid productivity in a business, especially for those in material handling or contractor roles.

“The properly designed shelving system will not fail under weight stresses and will allow a contractor to store their tools, materials and supplies safely and neatly.” Schodowski said. “When a contractor has a place for everything and everything in its place they won’t waste time and money looking and searching for something they already have. They know exactly where everything is and what their supply levels are without requiring an expensive and sophisticated bar code system.”

Despite the recent economic troubles, Shelving, Inc. still managed to make 2009 the company’s most profitable year. “Despite lower revenue from 2008 we cut our operating expenses to a level that made us more profitable. We negotiated better pricing with all vendors and service providers. All advertising efforts had to be accountable for revenue and increased sales lead generation,” Schodowski said.

Custom orders are a specialty of the company. Schodowski said they have had many unique requisitions.

“The Commander of the USS Iwo Jima ship placed an order for special racks for storing undisclosed products for his ship over a ship to shore radio. We had to ensure that the racking system components were delivered to the naval port in Virginia within a three day window while ship was in port and before it went back out to sea.”

He also mentioned a Harvard Professor who requested a computer work area with room for seven computers and his two cats. The professor needed them near him while he worked!
Shelving, Inc. also does a lot of work in the commercial sector. Schodowski said the company prides itself on consistently coming in on time and under budget, such as the new hospital that needed a couple thousand new lockers as they expanded their main campus.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on being the best provider of shelving and storage equipment to our customers no matter where they are located,” he said. “With the e-commerce sites we manage, our sales team, installation crews and our engineering expertise we can design, engineer, and install just about any size project large or small that requires better utilization of space.

“We see the shelving business growing as people, governments, companies and institutions all seem to want to acquire more stuff and all these markets will need more shelving to store their stuff on. The trends are for shelving products that are ecologically friendly with water based paints and non VOC wood shelves with off gassing. Our shelving products are manufactured according to rules and regulations for being ecologically friendly while structurally safe as well,” Schodowski said.

For more information contact Shelving, Inc. at 800/637-9508 or visit

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