84 Lumber Sales Plummeted $1 Billion

84 Lumber revealed on Feb. 5 that total sales for 2008 dropped $1 billion from the previous year to $2.1 billion. The Eighty Four, Pa.?based dealer had sales of $3.1 billion in 2007 and $3.92 billion in 2006. A few days later, the dealer closed another nine stores.

"The reality of it all is that 95% of our business is derived from new-home construction," said Jeff Nobers, vice president of marketing and public relations. "As that business goes, our business goes." Two years ago, 84 Lumber operated 450 locations and employed 9,500 people. Today, the dealer operates 310 yards and six component plants in 150 markets with about 4,800 employees.

According to a report by The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 84 Lumber has talked with the state's Department of Community and Economic Development, as the company looks for assistance with debt financing. 84 Lumber did not comment on the matter.

Beacon Roofing Sales Grow 16.3% in Fiscal 1Q09

Beacon Roofing Supply's 2009 fiscal year has gotten off to a strong start. The Peabody, Mass.?based roofing and building products distributor reported sales for the first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2008, reached $463.3 million. That's a 16.3% increase from the year-earlier fiscal first quarter for the No. 6 company on the 2008 ProSales 100 list of America's biggest LBM operations. The company's net income for the first quarter was $18.6 million compared to $5.2 million in 2008, an increase of 256%. Gross profit in the first quarter was $116 million, up $24.3 million from the equivalent months in 2008.

Stock's Interim Operating Loss Widens to $110 Million

Stock Building Supply, America's No. 2 LBM dealer, saw its operating loss for September through December 2008 fall to $110 million, double what it recorded in the year-earlier period, according to Stock's U.K.-based parent, Wolseley Plc. Stock's revenue fell 28% during that period. The declines occurred during a period in which, starting Oct. 23, Stock launched a $225 million restructuring effort in which it expected to close 86 facilities, cut 3,000 jobs, and exit 16 markets in six states. Stock president Joe Appelmann said Stock now has 207 facilities and just less than 8,700 employees in 52 markets from its 363 facilities and 13,120 workers at the start of 2008.

Southern Dealers Conference Focuses on Weak Economy

The state of the economy was foremost on the minds of dealers and vendors from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia who gathered for the first-ever winter education conference held jointly by the Construction Suppliers Association (CSA), the Florida Building Material Association (FBMA), and the Structural Building Components Association.

"Welcome to the recession of 2008," said Roger Tutterow, an economics professor at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., noting that there might be several more quarters to go in the economic downturn. While Tutterow suggested the housing market might already have hit bottom, he also predicted commercial sales might see a crash by this summer or fall.

Held Jan. 21-23 in St. Augustine, Fla., the event drew more than 60 attendees including 31 dealers.

Steal This Idea

Home on the Range Day

Once a week, Standale Lumber in Grandville, Mich., has a "Home on the Range Day." It's called that because on that day, never is heard a discouraging word: You're not allowed to complain about a customer or fellow employee, but rather have to wait until the next day to vent. By then, of course, most workers have gotten over their ire.

In Brief

Kelseyville (Calif.) Lumber has opened a new $9.5 million superstore: The 81,000-square-foot building includes a garden center, restaurant, coffee cart, and products ranging from lumber to sleeping bags. ...Foxworth-Galbraith announced Feb. 2 it is closing its truss and wall plant manufacturing facility in Prescott Valley, Ariz. The move follows the closing of facilities in Delta and Grand Junction, Colo., including a truss plant and yard. ... BB Lumber & Hardware, Bellingham, Wash., is closing after more than 60 years in business. Likewise, Reed Lumber Co., Christiansburg, Va., is closing, also after 60 years in business. ...Iverson's Lumber Co. is closing its operation in Milford, Mich., and consolidating its business at its Highland, Mich., yard, a press report said. ... The American National Standards Institute approved theNAHB Green Building Standard, which should help NAHB in its competition with the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program in becoming the premier green building standard for homes. ... Sutherlands Lumber and Home Improvement Centers will buy the BMC West retail outlet across the street from it in Fort Collins, Colo., and consolidate the locations, a press report says. ... The Alexander Lumber Co. yard in Galesburg, Ill., is reportedly set to close by the end of February. ... San Antonio (Fla.) Building Supplyhas closed. There's a possibility that a previous owner will purchase the company and reopen it. ... Great Central Lumber Co. will close its Alton, Ill., yard March 9. Many of the 50 employees affected reportedly will move to other Great Central facilities. ... Carter Lumber is closing its yard in Battle Creek, Mich., and consolidating those operations into a yard in Kalamazoo.


Millar Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity, died Feb. 3. He was 74. A former lawyer and entrepreneur, Fuller and his wife Linda created Habitat in 1976 after working to build low-cost homes for the poor in the U.S. and overseas. In the U.S. alone, Habitat qualifies as one of the largest builders of for-sale homes in the country, delivering more than 5,600 homes in 2007. ... The New Jersey Building Materials Dealers Association named its new president: Bryan Jaeger of Basking Ridge, N.J., owner of Jaeger Lumber of Union, N.J. ... The Florida Building Material Association announced its new board of directors, whose terms became effective Jan. 1. Executive officers include: Brad Wanzenberg, Deerfield Builders Supply Co., chairman; Dennis Vlassis, Gulf Stream Builders Supply, chairman-elect and treasurer, Wade Jefferson, Beaver Door & Trim, first vice chairman; Bridget Pulsifer, Mills & Nebraska, secretary; Don Magruder, Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply Co., immediate past chairman and national dealer director. ... The Wisconsin Retail Lumber Association has named Paul Forslund of Forslund Building Supply, as its 2008 Lumber Person of the Year. Forslund served as president of the Wisconsin Retail Lumber Association from 1997 to 1998 and continues to serve on the WRLA Advisory Board. ... The Flathead Building Association hasnamed Eric Bechtle, an outside sales representative for Stock Building Supplyin Kalispell, Mont., as its associate of the year. ... The Illinois Lumber and Material Dealers Associationhas named Craig Loomis of Woolf Distributing Co. as its 2008 Lumbermen of the Year. ... The Michigan Lumber & Building Materials Association awarded its Dealer of the Year honor to Ron Schryer ofCheboygan Lumber Co., and its Supplier of the Year prize to Dick Opperman of Midwest Timber.

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Send your company's news, announcements, and events to Patricia Hurley, via e-mail phurley@hanley wood.com or fax 202.833.9281.