Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

Volume 44,  Issue 5                                        June 2005

     Big Box Bulletin


With sales expected to eclipse the $4 billion mark in 2005, 84 Lumber Co. of Eighty Four, Pa., has created two divisions and added a new Midwest region to better support store and component plant operations and manage the company’s explosive growth.

In the past three years the company has posted dramatically increased sales of $2.14 billion in 2002, to $2.58 billion in 2003, and then $3.46 billion in 2004. The company presently operates 469 stores and 17 component plants with plans to open a minimum of 52 new stores and five component plants this year.

“This strategic realignment will allow us to better manage the company from both an operations and people perspective,” said Maggie Hardy Magerko, president and owner of 84 Lumber. “As we aggressively expand in the west and mid-west we know we need to better support the stores and field operations, and this move to a divisional set-up, as well as adding an additional region, will better balance the responsibilities of our area managers and regional vice presidents.”

84 Lumber will operate the Northeastern and Southwestern divisions and add its eighth region, the Midwest, which encompasses stores and component plants in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas; St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn., and the Gulf Coast region of Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.
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Small California Businesses Prepare to Face Home Depot
Small businesses in Monterey County, Calif., are already wary of The Home Depot coming to the area, although the new big-box store is still only in the construction stage. 
According to an article in the Monterey County Herald, local hardware stores, paint stores, nurseries, repair shops and stores that offer lighting, flooring or window treatments are all making preparations for the big box’s arrival. 

“Orchard Supply Hardware in Sand City next week is adding home appliances to its stock,” stated the article. “Other stores, such as The Home Lighter in Pacific Grove, are differentiating themselves through expertise or some other specialty.”

The article noted that some local business owners were remaining optimistic, however, relying on building professionals to keep business strong as The Home Depot goes after do-it-yourself homeowners. Other businesses point to a loyal customer base, quality service and happy employees as reasons not to fear the new competition. 

Dedication Ceremony Held for Construction of New Ace Distribution Facility 
Ace Hardware Corp., headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., hosted a dedication ceremony on April 26, 2005, to herald the construction of its new $40 million, 788,000-square-foot regional distribution center in Moxee, Wash. The facility is being built to replace Ace’s existing 506,500-square-foot retail support center in Yakima, Wash., just 10 miles away. After the dedication ceremony, guests participated in a guided tour of the site where construction of the new retail support center began in March. 

“From 2000 to 2003, wholesale sales in the Northwest increased 13 percent and last year alone we added 12 new stores in the Yakima service region,” said Bill Bauman, Ace Hardware vice president of retail support. “This growth is showing no signs of slowing. The new, larger center will allow us to better accommodate this growth.

Adding this new, state-of-the-art retail support center to Ace’s extensive distribution network is a critical component that will allow us to better serve the needs of our retailers—and ultimately our valued customers—in this area of the country.” 

Shipments to retailers from the new center are expected to begin in the first quarter 2006, at which time the existing facility in Yakima will close. The new Moxee facility will employ approximately 300 individuals when fully operational.

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