/History & Timeline

History & Timeline

Bob Palay Designing Morley Palay
The Early Years

1945 -  Billing's Gazette 1969Bob Palay - Founder Palay DisplayPalay Display Industries, Inc. was founded by Bob Palay in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Bob was a sign painter and window trimmer who traveled through the territories marketing his knowledge and expertise of his craft.

As Bob worked, his customers would frequently ask him if he could supply a variety of store fixtures such as Morley Palaymannequins, racks, hardware and showcases. This eventually lead him to form the corporation we are today.

Morley and Bob PalayIn the 1950s Morley Palay, brother of Bob Palay joined Palay Display. Morley worked along side Bob on many projects and made many trips to Billings, MT for Billings Market Week.

Christmas showroomChristmas AdFrom 1965 until discontinuing in 1989 Palay Display was the largest retail christmas business in the upper midwest. Handling christmas trees, lights and outdoor decorations

The 1970's

1973 - Radisson Fashion MartPalay Display established a permanent showroom at the Radisson Fashion Mart. This showroom gave Palay Display Industries their first physical presence in Minneapolis, MN.Howard Palay - President of Palay Display

1975 - Howard Palay joins his father in business.


1977 - A new warehouse is added to the Grand Forks facility.

The 1980's

1982 - Howard Palay and Morley PalayHoward Palay and Morley PalayThe Radisson in Minneapolis was torn down. Palay Display along with the Northwest Salesmen Association moved the Fashion Mart to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

1987 -ND Unique Business ArticleDavid Rerick - Vice President of Palay Display Howard Palay son of Bob Palay, becomes president of Palay Display Industries, Inc.

1988 - David Rerick joins Palay Display Industries, Inc.






The 1990's

1991 - Edina StaffJerry Higgins working on CecilPalay Display opens new location in Edina, MN. (A suburb of Minneapolis, MN). This location is open to serve the Minneapolis, MN metro year round. The new facility includes a showroom and warehouse. David Rerick becomes operations manager of Palay Display Industries.

1992 - Troy Drees joins Palay Display Industries, Inc.

1993 - Sales Staff In ChicagoPalay Display establishes a permanent showroom at the Minneapolis Gift Mart to better serve the gift industry.

1997 -  Grand Forks Location Howard and Morley PalayThe spring flood of 1997 affected the Grand Forks Office and Warehouse, but business operations continued almost uninterrupted. Palay dealt with the flood by moving their datacenter to Minneapolis. Read more about how Palay Display dealt with the flood in a 1997 published article in Inc. Magazine. Click Here To Read More

1998 - David Rerick becomes Vice President of Palay Display Industries.Troy Drees

1999 - Troy D. Drees developed Elements, a division of Palay Display Industries, Inc. Elements specializes in lay-out and design. Began showing at the Denver Retail Expo Center for gift show week.

Into the 21st century

2000 - Relocated from Edina, MN to Bloomington, MN, both of which are suburbs of Minneapolis, MN.Bloomington, Minnesota Grand Opening2001 Bloomington Sales Staff This was a major business expansion into a brand new facility. Les Seglin, Howard Palay's father-in-law and pitchman at heart, gets into the act on various promotional mailings. Ham it up Les!

2002 - Palay Display Bloomington, MNLaunched new redesigned website which includes our entire catalog. This also included the implementation of a new e-mail server, allowing e-mail addresses company wide, and wireless internet connections.

2004 - Palay Display Article On Move To MinneapolisRelocating to Bloomington FlyerAfter being at our Grand Forks, North Dakota location for 59 years, and a much anticipated 12 year business plan, Palay Display was consolidated under one roof. Employees and equipment were moved in January to the Bloomington, MN location which then became the corporate headquarters of Palay Display.

In the summer of 2004 Palay Display launched a new line up of golf club display fixtures.

2005 - Palay Display launches a new website design, bringing online ordering, account management, and other eCommerce features direct to customers.

2006 - To increase the selection of products to customers, Palay Display decided to increase the size of its catalog from 96 pages to 152 page - full color catalog. This allow room for over 800 new products.

David Palay - Third generation and grandson of founder joins Palay Display as Marketing Director.

2007 - Palay Display Remodel 1Sales Floor RemodelPalay Display doubled the capacity of its facility. This expansion included a doubling the warehouse capacity, new conference room, photo studio, server room, increase sales and support area and expanded showroom.

New Warehouse Remodel

PDI Freight FlyerPalay Display launches Version 3 of its website. The new website allows for accurate shipping estimates and capacity to offer a wider selection of products.

PDI Building 1958PDI Current Building

The history about Palay Display would not be complete without our catalog cover archive. Our catalogs date back to the early 1970s, and the ideas for many of our best selling products date back even farther.

Displayed below is a timeline of our catalog covers, spanning over the past four decades:

1970 Palay Display Catalog
1970

1973 Palay Display Catalog
1973

1976 Palay Display Catalog
1976

1980 Palay Display Catalog
1980

1984 Palay Display Catalog
1984

1991 Palay Display Catalog
1991

1993 Palay Display Catalog
1993

1995 Palay Display Catalog
1995

1997 Palay Display Catalog
1997

2000 Palay Display Catalog
2000

2002 Palay Display Catalog
2002

2003 Palay Display Catalog
2003

2006 Palay Display Catalog
2006

2008 Palay Display Catalog
2008

2010 Palay Display Catalog
2010

2012 Palay Display Catalog
2012

2013 Palay Display Catalog
2013

2015 Palay Display Catalog
2015

2016 Palay Display Catalog
2016