Founded in 1947, BL began as a small family business selling bearings, with six employees operating out of just a few thousand square feet in New York City. Relying on local trade, the company took a family approach, providing excellent service and treating customers and employees as if they were relatives.
Successful growth forced the company to seek a larger location during the 1960s, so BL purchased and moved into a 14,000 square-foot building in Long Island City, Queens in 1965. Its ample space enabled BL to significantly increase inventory levels and better serve a growing number of customers in Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island.
As their customer base expanded over the next 10 years, so did BL, which more than tripled in size. The company could no longer rely solely on surplus purchases to service customers. To maintain a more consistent supply of high quality bearings, BL established direct relationships with overseas manufacturers and began importing bearings. With new product sources came the need for more space, so BL relocated in 1977 to a 28,300 square foot facility in Hauppauge NY.
BL's decision to import bearings was visionary. Not only did sales flourish but supply levels and service increased so dramatically that BL made a strategic decision in the early 1980s to exit the surplus business. BL then ramped up overseas purchasing and began offering customers Japanese and Chinese bearings as well as traditional European makes.
With increasing inventories came demand from distributors throughout the US. To further improve service and provide just-in-time delivery nationwide, BL implemented a five-year growth plan while opening four regional warehouses and sales offices in the early 1990s. Phase Two of the plan began in 1995 with the opening of three satellite warehouse and sales offices. Locations now include:
|Houston||March 1990||Southwest Region||12,500 sq ft|
|Los Angeles||March 1991||Western Region||12,000 sq ft|
|Chicago||March 1992||Midwest Region||20,000 sq ft|
|Atlanta||March 1993||Southeast Region||7,000 sq ft|
|Dallas||January 1995||Central TX / LA / OK||4,000 sq ft|
|Columbus||February 1997||Ohio / Western PA / Michigan||24,000 sq ft|
In its continued quest to improve service and be distributors' most reliable source of supply, BL complemented its line of bearings with chain, sprockets, hubs and bushings. Partnerships with high quality Chinese factories utilizing the latest technologies has resulted in the exclusive TRITAN line of power transmission products, as well as the BL line of small bore ball and roller bearings.
Now managed by the third generation of its founding family, BL still maintains the same values and focus on service as when the company began over 60 years ago. What has changed is its depth. A new, 140,000 square foot building outside New York City now serves as the company's worldwide headquarters, anchoring its seven distribution centers nationwide. BL is proud to serve over 3000 distributors throughout North America, always striving for new and better ways to meet their needs.