A year and a half after national LBM retailer ProBuild built three facilities in competitor 84 Lumber's home territory, the company is backing out of the region and second-guessing its recent spate of greenfield startups.
ProBuild CEO Rob Marchbank Tuesday told employees in an internal memo that ProBuild will close operations in Pittsburgh, Morgantown, W. Va., and Hagerstown, Md. The shakeup affects the Altoona, Pa., White Oak, Pa., Morgantown, and Hagerstown locations, which will close, and the Winchester, Va., and Frederick, Md. locations to which the Hagerstown business will be redirected.
"The strategy of opening a greenfield location in a competitive market with challenging economic conditions is not an effective approach to market growth," Marchbank wrote.
This, after the compay in June cut 127 corporate jobs in an attempt to streamline top-level operations a year after it eliminated its six regional management offices and replaced them with groups focused on metropolitan, local, and specialty sales.
ProBuild's Morgantown location, completed in June 2011, sits fewer than 50 miles from 84's Eighty Four, Pa., headquarters and its construction showed signs of the company's renewed interest in greenfield sites amid a spate of 30 facility closures in 2010. Construction of White Oak and Altoona facilities was announced last summer.
An 84 Lumber spokesman, Jeff Nobers, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review last June that the company was aware of ProBuild's intentions to enter the Pittsburgh market.