business matters
K&K Parts co-owner Justin Kingerski said the on-hand inventory has been growing since the store opened 25 years ago.

K&K keeps moving to stay part of community

Within a 15-mile radius of K&K Parts’ 923 New Castle Road location, there are between 5,000 and 6,000 RVs “that never move. They’re here year-round,” estimates store co-owner Gary Kingerski. “There’s also just about the same number of manufactured homes in that same radius. That’s why this is a real decent spot for convenience for people to come to.”

K&K Parts sells neither RVs nor manufactured homes; it offers maintenance products, parts and amenities.

In stock are the 5,000 most requested day-to-day living essentials. And the store’s catalog offers another 52,000 product choices.

Popular items include plumbing, bathtubs, doors, windows and skirting for manufactured homes. On the RV side, quick-to-sell items include essentials “when you’re out living on the open road … like parts to repair heaters or air conditioners,” Gary Kingerski said.

The two product lines — tied by their mobility and, often, shared manufacturers — are a niche market requiring specialty knowledge.

The team at K&K Parts, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September, not only has experience in the market, but also is regularly trained in updated parts application.

It was Gary Kingerski’s son, Justin Kingerski, who opened the store after graduating from Allegheny College with a degree in environmental studies.

Justin Kingerski first took a job as a field chemist and enjoyed it. But that career required extensive travel. And with marriage in his near future, Justin Kingerski said he decided to make a life change that would keep him close to home.

A manufactured home and RV parts shop was his first choice because his father had owned a few similar shops in the Zelienople area in the 1970s.

Gary Kingerski, a Vietnam veteran, sold those businesses to enter the real estate field in 1980.

When issues with his hearing coincided with a need for more hands at K&K Parts around 2010, Gary Kingerski retired from real estate to work with his son.

“The business was growing,” he said, noting that in addition to himself and his son, K&K Parts also employs his wife, Judy, two full-timers and two part-time employees.

Initially, K&K Parts was located at a rented shop about a half-mile away from its current location.

Justin Kingerski said when that property was sold, K&K Parts purchased its current site and relocated.

“We were searching for a good spot, and we were fortunate,” Gary Kingerski said. “We have a great customer base.”

Almost from the beginning, K&K Parts has been routinely expanding its product line, which now includes sheds and storage buildings, carports, propane for heating and cooking and anthracite coal stoves.

“This will be our third winter as a HEET Inc. dealer,” Justin Kingerski said.

And when Trader Horn stores closed, K&K Parts added some products for local residents’ needs.

The Kingerskis said that in addition to their great location, timing is fortuitous for their product line.

Nationwide, there’s an uptick in RV use. And manufactured housing, after decades of decline, is on the rise again.

“They are both in a growth pattern,” Justin Kingerski said.

During the 1970s, he said, the industry produced about 600,000 manufactured homes per year. That dropped down to about 50,000 a year by early 2000. Today, it’s up around 100,000 a year and growing.

The Kingerskis said many of the K&K Part’s regular customers live in Pittsburgh and work in the city all week, but want to escape to someplace rural in their leisure time.

“I really enjoy working with people,” Justin Kingerski said. “I like working with products and learning. I get a daily dose of troubleshooting while working with great customers.”