Standard Electric, Wilmington, Mass., has expanded its presence into Connecticut with the purchase of B&B Electrical Supply, Putnam, Conn.

Standard Electric, with 10 locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island — and one in California — has 250 employees and is among the top 50 on Electrical Wholesaling magazine's 2001 “250 Biggest” listing.

With this purchase, Standard Electric gains two new locations: B&B's Putnam, Conn., and Southbridge, Mass., locations. B&B has 14 employees and does approximately $4 million in annual sales.

Although Standard Electric Supply services some businesses in Connecticut, this will be the company's first location in the state.

“We didn't have any branches in that area,” said Kurt Schaefer, director of marketing for Standard Electric. “That's our first physical presence in Connecticut. The Southbridge location is probably about 30 minutes away from our branch in Worcester.”

Schaefer said that the companies were not extremely competitive, though they shared some of the same customer markets. The companies are both involved with commercial, industrial and contractor business. Standard also services the telecommunications and retail lighting markets.

Walter “Skip” Popiak, president of B&B Electrical, said that competition wasn't a factor. “I think they just looked at us as a good branch acquisition,” he said.

For Standard Electric, this acquisition will open up the company to some new markets in New England, Schaefer said.

“It gives us an opportunity to go a little farther west into central Massachusetts, and further south into Connecticut. It puts us in a different position to be able to strategically take advantage of some of the other businesses (in those areas),” he said.

Geography is a key factor in Standard's acquisition strategy, according to Schaefer.

Schaefer said that B&B's original personnel are still in place and that Popiak will continue on as the Putnam branch manager.