84 Lumber has closed five more yards and two component plants as of Dec. 15, when the Eighty Four, Pa.-based dealer revealed it had cut 28 positions at its headquarters.
The yards closed were in Austintown and Sandusky, Ohio; Riviera Beach, Fla.; Lakeville, Ind.; and Chelsea, Ala. In addition, 84 shuttered component plants in Knoxville, Tenn., and McFarland, Wis. About 71 employees are impacted by the move, with more than half of them being component plant personnel, according to Jeff Nobers, 84 Lumber vice president of marketing and communications.
Nobers said the closings were a "market by market" decision: 84 Lumber requires a minimum of 3,000 housing starts within a 25-mile radius of its stores. In the case of the Chelsea location, a newer location had opened more than a year ago across the street with the older location serving as an auxiliary operation that was no longer necessary, Nobers told ProSales in a telephone interview.
In the past two and a half years, 84 Lumber has closed about 170 locations and 3,200 positions at the company. After the latest round, 84 Lumber operates 329 locations and eight component plants in 160 markets. 84 Lumber ranked third on the 2008 ProSales 100 with 2007 total sales of $3.1 billion and 434 stores as of Dec. 31, 2007.
"We are in this for the long haul," Nobers said. "We know going forward that some of our locations are capable of serving a much larger radius than they used to when the market was at its peak."
On Monday, 84 Lumber said it cut 28 positions at headquarters, primarily in its purchasing department, along with consolidation moves in its accounting and marketing departments.The bulk of the job cuts came in the dealer's purchasing department, which was consolidated into a single department last March. 84 Lumber ran separate departments for commodities and non-commodities, but the company decided to merge the operations following the departure of Mark Garbowski last February. Garbowski took a position with ProBuild, the Denver-based dealer. The new single department is now being led by Mitch Wagner.
"The market has continued to be slow, so it seemed to make more sense to combine the departments," Nobers said.
According to Nobers, some personnel in purchasing received other assignments in the company. Other cuts at headquarters were across the board, he said, including 84 Lumber's marketing and accounting departments.
"We are trying not to overreact when it comes to job cuts," Nobers said.