Robert Skeels & Co. has been a mainstay in Southern California for almost 100 years! Skeels President and Owner, Ken Jordan has been running the company for over 20 years and has worked in virtually every position in Skeels during his almost 40 years at the company. You will find him there still most everyday.
The company was established in 1921 in downtown Los Angeles by Bob Skeels. He began Robert Skeels & Co. to serve the west coast as a manufacturer’s agent – a local rep – for the hardware industry. In 1930 Skeels opened a warehouse on San Pedro Street in Los Angeles and began inventorying many of the products that he represented, most significantly the Lawrence Brothers product line from Sterling, Illinois.
A year after Wynn’s bought the business, the whole thing burned all the way to the ground! Rumor has it that a water heater in the building malfunctioned and caught the building on fire. It was a total loss. The very next day Les and his staff leased a building on San Pedro Street and opened up shop. They frantically placed orders with manufacturers and in no time were back in business. The building was rebuilt on the same lot and they moved back in.
In 1969 Skeels purchased Lock Hardware, a small distributor to the locksmith trade. This move strengthened Skeels’ relationship with the locksmith while adding staff with strong locksmith expertise. It was time to grow again, and in 1972 Skeels moved out of downtown and to the suburbs, building a large 60,000 square foot building in Dominguez Hills, just next door to Compton.In 1994 Les Jordan was ready to retire, and Wynn’s named his son, Ken Jordan, President of Robert Skeels & Co.
As Skeels was growing and changing, so was Wynn Oil Company. In the late 1960’s Wynn’s became a holding company, making Skeels a division of Wynn’s International. Wynn’s continued to diversify into many different and varied businesses, including Bell Helmets, HRL Lubricants, Precision Rubber Products, and Riddell sports equipment. By the late 1990’s Wynn’s rubber products division was being wooed by a large multi-national company. In 2000 Wynn’s was able to spin off its other divisions – including Skeels – and sell the rubber products division Parker Hannnifin. Les and Ken Jordan bought Skeels, and moved to its present location in Carson.
Robert Skeels & Co. remains committed to the hardware industry, serving locksmiths, hardware stores, security integrators, school districts and universities, hospitals, municipalities, and many other customers with passion and a love for hardware. Skeels' heritage – almost 100 years old – runs very deep!