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IMS History

Norman Sherman opened his scrap and surplus business in 1948 in Burbank, California. He, along with his wife Sally, worked out of the back end of their 1947 Pontiac station wagon that served as the first delivery vehicle by day and the family car by night.

Over the years market demand required a second facility be opened, and in 1989 Norm and Sally’s son Neil opened a second IMS branch in Irvine. Four years later, the biggest trauma in the company’s history occurred when IMS increased the minimum sale from 50 cents to $1— this still remains the minimum order requirement today.

In 1995, as business continued to grow deeper into Southern California, IMS opened the third branch, this time in San Diego. This branch quickly outgrew its first facility and expanded into larger quarters in 1998.

In August of 2000, IMS ventured interstate, into Arizona, acquiring a Phoenix-based company named Capitol Metals. In June 2001, Capitol Metals moved into a brand new 90,000 sq. ft. building, expanding inventory and adding hundreds of new items to their product line. Early in 2006 the Capitol Metals name was changed to Industrial Metal Supply Co.

By 2002, IMS had long outgrown its original facility in Burbank, which had expanded to over 80,000 square feet of warehouse and retail services. In July the branch moved up the road to a larger, brand new custom facility in Sun Valley which offers its customers a greatly improved shopping experience with over 14,000 square feet of retail showroom and 120,000 square feet of warehouse along with many new items to choose from.

In 2006, IMS opened its fifth branch in Riverside to address the demands from the rapidly growing number of businesses in the Inland Empire. With over 70,000 square feet of space, this branch is the area’s largest retail outlet for metals, making it the perfect destination for metal working professionals, hobbyists, off-roaders and do-it-yourselfers.

In 2008 IMS made a significant investment in new technology by adding a state-of-the-art 3D 6-axis tube laser cutting machine, the only one of its kind on the West Coast. This device can perform precise angle cuts, weld-prep bevels and advanced, complex contours such as saddle joint cuts in one operation. IMS is helping its customers save time and money by reducing their costs and helping them get their products to market faster.