No other details on how 84 achieved the revenue increase were immediately available. Initial returns to the annual ProSales 100 survey indicate a hefty number of companies reported modest increases in sales last year or else didn't drop very far from 2009. That's a sharp contrast from last year's report, in which 90 companies posted sales declines, 39 of them by at least 25%.
84's achievement also came despite a cash crunch that has led it to close several dozen locations since January 2010; it has roughly 265 today. On Feb. 14, it closed a deal that uses federal and private loans to pay off the final $40 million of a $195 million, 18% interest loan that has limited the LBM giant's ability to maneuver.
84's challenges appear to have led other big LBM dealers to think its vulnerable. ProBuild, the nation's biggest full-service lumberyard, is building a new store in Morgantown, W.Va., less than 50 miles from 84's headquarters and within 25 miles of at least five of 84's branches.