ABC Supply has rolled out a new design for its "Solution Center" showrooms to all of its 370 locations nationwide. The center highlights roofing, siding, and exterior building products to ABC's contractor customers. In turn, contractors can use the centers to show and sell products to their homeowner customers. The displays feature a new wing-panel design by which visitors to ABC locations can compare and contrast product lines from different manufacturers, as well as pick up samples and literature about the products.

The center's features are a direct result of contractor feedback: contractors who were looking for better ways to educate themselves, their employees, and their customers about what types of options are available. Additionally, most contractors don't maintain their own product displays.

ABC Supply operates in 45 states. It ranked third on the latest ProSales 100.

Courtroom Dramas Dominate the Playbill for LBM Dealers This Summer

Perry Mason, eat your heart out. Some of the hottest dealer action in the last two months took place in the courtroom–in bankruptcy courtrooms, to be exact.

Stock Building Supply, the second-largest U.S. pro dealer, announced July 1 it had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company will focus on 19 core markets: the Washington, D.C., area; Paradise, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Winston-Salem/Greensboro, N.C.; Greenville and Columbia, S.C.; Atlanta; Austin, Amarillo, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Salt Lake City; Southern Utah; Spokane/Northern Idaho; and Los Angeles. During its time in bankruptcy, Stock won court approval to reject more than 250 leases, most of them for properties it has closed since mid-2006.

Building Materials Holding Corp. (BMHC) entered Chapter 11 on June 16 and subsequently won approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Court to access $80 million in debtor-in-possession financing from Wells Fargo and other lenders. The Boise, Idaho-based dealer and construction services provider expects the new financing to provide "ample liquidity to meet its ongoing obligations to employees, customers, suppliers, and subcontractors," the company said.

Bison Building Materials of Houston filed for Chapter 11 on June 28. It was given until August. 27 to reveal its financial plans and list of top unsecured creditors. Bison will ask the bankruptcy court to reject a number of real estate and equipment leases, largely related to operations it has closed. Similar actions were taken by Stock and BMHC.

ORCO Construction Supply entered Chapter 11 planning to be purchased by an entity controlled by Greg Grosch, cofounder of White Cap Construction Supply. Instead, on May 21, White Cap outbid Grosch and took over the company.

ProBuild Grows, and Shrinks, Along Lake Michigan

Less than two weeks after revealing it would expand in the Chicago market, ProBuild filed a notice with the state of Wisconsin that it would close Big Buck Building Centers in Racine, Wis. effective Sept. 20. ProBuild had acquired Big Buck's yard and components plant in July 2008.

ProBuild's move in Wisconsin came shortly after it opened a facility in Hampshire, Ill., about 50 miles outside of Chicago. The 23-acre facility had been run by Stock Building Supply and closed earlier this summer. ProBuild also took two other leases in the region in Chicago and Elgin: both former Stock locations. Prior to opening the Hampshire location under the ProBuild banner, the dealer had two locations within the Chicagoland area in Wheaton and Yorkville.

The Hampshire, Elgin, and Chicago facilities are leased from the Seigle family, which formerly owned Seigle's Home and Building Center before selling the company to Stock four years ago. Seigle's has since re-entered the picture and has bought back an Elgin, Ill. cabinet showroom and shop from Stock while incorporating in the state under the name Seigle's Cabinet Center LLC.

A spokesperson for Denver-based ProBuild told ProSales that efficiencies gained at some of ProBuild's 10 other Wisconsin yards "allow us to be more efficient in that Racine market." The components part of Big Buck was closed last year, leaving just the yard.

Steal This Idea

Do You Know Jack? Jay-K Independent Lumber Corp., New Hartford, N.Y., has brought back its "Jack O' Trade" billboard mascot in its BetterAskJack campaign. Jay-K customers can post a question to Jack online. While the service normally addresses home improvement problems, no question is off limits; Jack is willing toanswer queries about relationships, financial issues, or even a kid's homework. Questions can be submitted to, with Jack responding via e-mail and some answers being published online. Every week, five randomly-chosen questions are given a BetterAskJack T-shirt with a custom message about how Jack helped the situation.

McCoy's Opens a Headquarters as Green as its Logo

Among McCoy's officials on hand last month to mark the opening of a new headquarters were president Brian McCoy (second from left), EVP Chuck Churchwell (third), senior design coordinator Jeff Schaefer (fourth), VP Art Johnson (center), and field support director Meagan McCoy Jones (fourth from right).Steal This Idea Photo: Courtesy Jay-K Lumber

McCoy's Building Supply moved into a new, greener headquarters on July 13. The facility features energy-efficient insulated glass exterior windows that are tinted with LowE coatings, providing natural light to approximately 75% of the building's occupied space. The 10th-largest U.S. dealer also installed solar shades on the exterior windows, blocking 99.5% of UV rays. The shades still allow natural light, contributing to energy-efficient cooling, the company said.

An arborist was on staff during the construction of the three-story, 73,550-square-foot facility sitting on 14.68 acres of land. Located about three-tenths of a mile from its former headquarters in San Marcos, Texas, the structure replaces McCoy's previous 48,000 square-foot facility.

Interior features include the use of low-VOC paints and coatings and U.S.-manufactured modular furniture systems produced with 44% total recycled content and 95% recyclable content. Light sensors and energy efficient T8 bulbs were installed at workstations to minimize energy use.

In Brief

In a joint acquisition with Carter Lumber, Scott Gandy and Brenda Onley have returned as Kempsville Building Supply's president and vice president, in Chesapeake, Va., with the yard being purchased back from Stock Building Supply. ...ProBuild opened a branch in Kalispell, Mont., leasing a yard that previously had been run by Stock Building Supply. ...Giles Builders Supply of Albany, Ga., closed July 1 while Shamburger Building Centers of Wichita Falls, Texas, said it will shut once it finishes selling its inventory. ...Jackson Lumber, the five-unit New England-based dealer, is looking to abandon its location in Haverhill, Mass. due to a recent hike in the state's sales tax. Jackson wants to find a new location in southern New Hampshire. ...SRS Acquisition Corp. opened a new Rowe Supply location in Ridgeland, S.C. . ...Lyons Do It Best Lumber & Hardware, with locations in Brighton Park and Frankfort, Ky., celebrated its 100th anniversary on June 12 . ...Andersen is cutting about 250 office positions, primarily at its Bayport, Minn., headquarters. The manufacturer also eliminated 287 jobs as it closed a vinyl window manufacturing plant in Fall River, Mass. ...Huttig Building Products will close its Anchorage, Alaska, branch in the fourth quarter of 2009. Since mid-2006, the St. Louis-based building products distributor has closed, consolidated or sold 20 distribution centers, leaving it with approximately 27. ... also announced that Philip W. Keipp joined the company as its Vice President-Chief Financial Officer, effective July 22. ...Laddie Woods will retire after 30 years as president of Allied Building Stores, Monroe, La., effective Aug. 31. He will be succeeded by David Stiles, who joined ABS in 1997 and most recently has served as president-elect. ...400 homes built by Lennar have Chinese-made drywall. ...Charles Armstrong Forbes Jr. ofReistertown (Md.) Lumber Co. died on July 12 at the age of 90. His obit pointed out that he never retired.