May 2009 Table of Contents

2009 ProSales 100: The Long Climb Out 2009 ProSales 100 2009 ProSales 100: The Long Climb Out

Ask any of the dealers on this year's ProSales 100 to list his company's greatest achievement in 2008 and, more often than not, you're likely to get a two-word answer: We survived. That's no small feat in an economy that has seen housing starts nationwide plummet more than three-quarters from their peak. It's partly why the average ProSales 100 dealer's 2008 total sales shrank by 14.8% from 2007 to $28.5 billion. Read more

2009 ProSales 100: The Team Within 2009 ProSales 100 2009 ProSales 100: The Team Within

For several years, ProBuild senior management has worked to build an LBM operation in which decisions get made at lots of levels throughout a company that spans the country and employs 13,000 workers. The Denver headquarters operation is small, but there's no question it calls the shots. And what it's doing is nothing less than constructing a 21st century LBM company. Read more

Scramble Plays

Be it with money, support, or service, the companies providing the bulk of systems software used by LBMs definitely aren't responding in lockstep to the housing slump. About the only thing that's consistent is the feeling among the trailing companies that this crisis might deliver an opportunity to erode Activant's standing atop the league table. Read more

Primed To Go Primed To Go

The molding category isn't what it used to be, say dealers and distributors. Even before the housing recession, pro dealers had been scaling back their in-stock assortments to their best-selling molding profiles and relying more on distributors. Dealers have also been shifting to less expensive moldings made from lower-priced materials. Read more

Yard Notables
Lumber Analyst Expects Strong Housing Starts Rebound in 2010

The home construction market is about to enter a comeback that will see a near-doubling of housing starts over the next 20 months, leading in turn to a spur in lumber dealers' need to stock up on softwood, a leading economist for the lumber industry forecast today. Read more

Yard Notables: May 2009

Analyst: Home Construction Nearing a Comeback / Stock Looks To Raise $1.5 Billion / More... Read more

May 2009 Returns

Industry Outlook / Roundtable Returns / Twits & Tweets / Speak Out! Read more

My Yardsticks
Alan Clark Alan Clark

Hot Springs, an hour's drive southwest of Little Rock, Ark., may be in a poor state and have just 40,000 residents, but it can boast of two arts festivals and that former President Bill Clinton grew up here. Alan Clark also defies stereotypes. While most LBM folks are early birds, Clark arrives at 11 a.m. and works into the night. His store has morphed from a lumberyard to a place where flooring provides 70% of the revenue. Here's how he keeps business bubbling. Read more

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