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.