SHELTER
Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

March 2006                                Volume 45,  Issue 2

Big Box Bulletin
Shopping in Salem

Residents of the Salem, Ore., area won’t have to go far to find a big-box home-improvement store because now, between Salem and Keizer, Ore., there are two Home Depots and two Lowe’s.

Home Depot and Lowe’s officials say there’s plenty of business to go around in Salem and surrounding communities. Both companies have routinely clustered multiple stores in a given market, reports Michael Rose of the Statesman Journal in Salem.

A Lowe’s spokesperson says 70 percent of Lowe’s stores are within 10 miles of a major competitor. 

Home Depot and Lowe’s officials maintain that demand for home improvement products is driving their explosive growth. Both companies have capitalized on consumers buying and remodeling homes, as well serving the needs of professional contractors.

According to the article, many regional home improvement chains and hardware stores have been shoved aside by the big boxes. In the Northwest, Ernst Home and Nursery, Furrows Building Materials, Copeland Lumber and Tualatin Valley Builders Supply have all bowed out of the market primarily because of mounting competition.

Karen Kobb, a Lowe’s corporate spokesperson, noted that the nation’s two largest home improvement retailers control about 20 percent of the home improvement retail business. The remaining 80 percent is held by independent retailers, flooring stores, paint stores, lighting galleries and similar retailers, she said.

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Lumbermens Obtains Arizona Building Supply

Lumbermens, a 65-store chain of contractor-focused building material centers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Arizona, has acquired Arizona Building Supply, a three-unit chain based in northern and western Arizona. 

Arizona Building Supply has begun operations as part of the Lumbermens family of stores, including Lumbermens, Seattle-based Lanoga Corp., United Building Centers in the Midwest and Rocky Mountains, Spenard Builders Supply in Alaska, Home Lumber in Colorado, Dixieline Lumber Co. in Southern California, Parker Lumber in Texas and F. E. Wheaton & Co. in Chicago.

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