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CED expands to ND: Electrical distributor opens 2 locations in less than a year

Adam Carson, inside sales at Consolidated Electrical Distributors in Dickinson, takes a phone call at the business' northside warehouse on Friday.

The building boom brought on by the oil boom has brought many new companies to North Dakota.

Coming to Dickinson and Williston made North Dakota the 48th state to host Consolidated Electrical Distributors -- neither South Dakota or Minnesota have had the honors.

"We've opened two locations in less than a year here in North Dakota," Manager Kyle Schwan said. "Obviously the market warrants it -- warrants the attention that this part of the country's getting."

The Irving, Texas-based electrical distributor began in 1957 and has spread throughout the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Schwan, a Devils Lake native, was working for a competing electrical distributor in Fargo when the opportunity to move west and help CED grow into the Oil Patch.

He helped open the Williston location in March 2012 before moving to Dickinson in January with his expectant wife and dog, Baker, who comes to work with him.

Schwan recruited friend and coworker Adam Carson, who was living in a Fargo suburb and preferred the small town atmosphere from the Fargo store, as well.

"The smaller community is just so much better for me," he said. "Working with friends is nice."

While CED is a large company, local stores are independently managed, so Schwan and Carson have control over the inventory but have access to a large catalogue.

"When people come to the counter and ask if you have something and you don't you can say, 'Well, I can get it for you,'" Carson said. "Rather than just, 'Nope, sorry, go away.'"

CED Dickinson is supplying more residential electrical supplies than it had planned, but is adding more industrial as oil development moves south.

"We've been doing more residential out of Dickinson than I had planned," Schwan said. "The residential stuff is really hitting here in anticipation of what's coming."

CED is located at 3222 IIIH Ave. SW, Suite A in Dickinson, northwest of SolarBee. Call 701-483-6164 for more information.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206