ProBuild revealed today that it will close its two remaining Chicago-area facilities and exit the market by Dec. 31. The move comes just over a year after ProBuild shut two other facilities in the area in the wake of a seven-week-long Teamsters strike.
"As you know, the industry conditions in some markets continue to be very challenging," Paul Dodge, ProBuild's senior vice president for the supply chain, said in a letter to suppliers that was obtained by ProSales. "For that reason, we have chosen to exit the Chicago market. We anticipate our lumber and millwork facilities in Yorkville, Ill., and our gypsum facility in Westmont, Ill., will be closing their doors by the end of the year."
Denver-based ProBuild--the No. 2 construction supplier on this year's ProSales 100 and the largest full-service dealer in the country--has long struggled in Chicagoland. While still the nation's seventh-biggest market for new-home construction, according to Builder magazine's Local Leaders list, the area has seen building permit issuances plunge 78% between 2006 and 2010, according to Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.
Compounding that slowdown, Teamsters union members who worked at ProBuild's Wheaton and Yorkville, Ill., yards walked off their jobs in July 2010 in a dispute over their next contract with the dealer. While ProBuild maintained that the strike hadn't hobbled its operations, nearly seven weeks into the walkout it announced it would consolidate its Wheaton and Yorkville operations and close its Hampshire, Ill, component manufacturing facility, all effective Sept. 30, 2010. The Teamsters voted less than a week later to accept a settlement.
At about the same time, ProBuild also closed a facility just across the Illinois border, in Racine, Wis., that ProBuild had purchased from Big Buck Building Centers one year earlier.
This summer, ProBuild reorganized itself into three groups focusing on metropolitan, smaller local, and specialty markets while dissolving its six regional divisions and consolidating shared services into its Denver headquarters. In addition, both CEO Bill Myrick and operations president Jim Cavanugh left their jobs.
ProBuild has roughly 450 locations throughout the country. It reported $3.05 billion in sales in 2010.