The end of 2008 was not kind to a number of dealers that decided to exit the business during these tumultuous economic times.
The Wolf Organization, a York, Pa.-based company that had 18 retail locations two years ago, is leaving the lumberyard business. The company, which operated its stores under The Lumber Yard name, sold its York and Hagerstown, Md., locations to John H. Myers & Sons, a five-unit dealer also based in York.
At press time, the company was in talks to sell two of its four remaining yards to John H. Myers, with the other two possibly being sold to regional independents. The Wolf Organization said the company plans to focus on its wholesale Wolf Distribution Co., which distributes kitchens cabinets, decking, railing materials, and fiber-cement siding.
Keith Brown Building Materials, which maintained 14 yards in Oregon and California at the start of 2008, closed its five remaining locations Dec. 2. At its peak, the dealer operated 25 stores with 400 employees in 2000. Company chairman Brad Pence told the Oregonian newspaper that suppliers were not willing to extend credit to Keith Brown while banks were unwilling to grant loans.
ProBuild, the largest U.S. pro dealer, revealed it will close three Florida locations. The Denver-based dealer will shutter its Punta Gorda truss facility near Port Charlotte, which is a combination lumberyard and truss operation. ProBuild will combine the Punta Gorda and
Plant City locations to serve the greater Tampa area. Most Port Charlotte employees will transfer to Plant City, the company said. A Naples yard that served southern Florida and Fort Myers also will close. Another yard in Port Charlotte will serve that area. A St. Petersburg facility, part of ProBuild's acquisition of HD Supply earlier this year, also will close.
Stock Building Supply, the No. 2 dealer, confirmed Dec. 11 that it will close its Phoenix operation.
Meek's Lumber closed its facility in Elk Grove, Calif., leaving the company with 13 yards in California and Nevada.
Other closings include Bailey's Lumber & Supply in Gulfport, Miss. Bailey's operates seven locations in Mississippi and Louisiana; Brannum Lumber of Racine, Wis., which decided it would close Dec. 20, just five months shy of its 100th anniversary; and. J. Youens & Co. in Navasota, Texas, a family-owned business since 1874. Additional closings in recent months include Hickman Lumber of Painter, Va., and Clay-Wood Lumber Co. of Kittaning, Pa.