Young At Heart: A Greer History
Our company had humble beginnings in 1923 in the form of a little store across from Market Square in Edmonton. William E. Greer, known as Bill to his friends, started “Bill Greer Hardware.”
At the time, the major method of transportation was still horse and carriage. Saturdays were particularly busy at the store, with farm wagons surrounding the square, and store hours running from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. to accommodate customers that travel from all areas.
In the mid 1930’s, Bill began to notice that the lumber yards were moving into the hardware business, so he started selling cleaning supplies, recognizing that cleaning products provided the opportunity for repeat business. By 1938, the hardware portion of the business was sold, and W.E. Greer Agencies was born. The company moved to 105th Street and 104th Avenue, and began to sell cleaning and maintenance equipment for institutions and industry. In 1946, Bill’s son, James Greer, started working for his father in the warehouse after returning home from the war.
In 1946 W.E. Greer Ltd. joined the National Sanitary Supply Association. The NSSA went on to become the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), of which W.E. Greer Ltd. was the first Canadian member.
In 1959, Bill passed away, and Jim, took over as president of the company. With Jim at the helm, Greer began to manufacture their own cleaning chemicals, starting with neutral floor cleaner. By 1970, with manufacturing becoming more of a focal point for the business, our company moved into our current building, complete with a manufacturing plant.
John, Bill Greer’s grandson, is now the owner of the company. The original philosophy, started by Bill Greer, still holds today: great products with great customer service. Our company’s strength lies not only in our exceptional cleaning chemicals, but in the value we add to them with things like training, reporting, and vendor managed ordering.