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Vol. 46 No. 2

THE

DECKING ISSUE New products and solid economics support growth for an $8 billion industry.

FEBRUARY 2020


Philip Chapman, Kate Borroni and Stu Chapman Woodson Lumber Texas

“When we considered switching distributors, we were looking at who could provide us with the product selection and level of stock fulfillment we knew we needed. Orgill was absolutely the best fit for us.�


Everything We Need Orgill’s Product Selection Was Exactly What We Were Looking For!

Why We Like Working With Orgill: • Programs that keep us on top of our product selection • Dealer Markets highlighting new products and vendors

• Services to help us reset and update various categories • Exceptional customer service that’s quick and efficient

1-800-347-2860 ext. 5373 • information@orgill.com • www.orgill.com/about-us


HBSDEALER HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY

INDEPENDENT PROFILE 17 In Indianapolis, Sullivan Hardware & Garden knows how to draw a crowd.

MARKET INSIGHTS 28 Highlights from the 2020 International Builders’ Show.

29 Looking ahead to 2020 housing forecast.

COVER STORY The Decking Issue

20 An $8 billion industry is growing, supported by innovation, demographics and a landscape in which half of all decks have outlived their expected life cycle.

FROM THE EDITOR 8 A big check.

A beautiful child Here’s what happened at the Spirit of Life event in Las Vegas, as seen from Table 1.

30 Lowe’s and Google Cloud from a technology foundation.

32 From NAFTA to USMCA — an alphabet soup that bodes well for business.

NEWS & ANALYSIS

IN EVERY ISSUE

10 Beacon breaks out

14 Product Knowledge 15 News Map 37 People in the News 38 Quikrete Industry

from ‘just roofing.’

14 The Hanson family goes to Washington.

15 An orange-hued National

Dashboard

Housing Endowment.

16 Award-winning products from the Builders’ Show.

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Hardware + Building Supply Dealer (ISSN 2376-5852) is published monthly, except for July/August and November/December, which are double issues, by EnsembleIQ, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Subscription rate: $119 per year in the United States; $139 in Canada and Mexico; $279 in all other countries (air mail only). Periodical postage paid at Chicago, IL., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to HBSD, Circulation Fulfillment Director, P.O. Box 3200, Northbrook, IL 60065-3200. Subscription changes also may be emailed to hbsdealer@omeda.com, or call 847-564-1468. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. For change of address, six weeks notice to Hardware+Building Supply Dealer, P.O. Box 3200, Northbrook, IL 60065-3200 is requested. Give old and new address and zip code. If possible, enclose address portion from cover on previous issue. Vol. 45, No. 3, March 2019. Copyright © 2020 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.

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FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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HERE’S WHAT’S ONLINE

@HBSDealer

Tweet Central

Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply Get ready for HBSDealer’s first ever Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply event, coming to the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago Nov. 4-5. Award nominations are open – we’re looking for business excellence as well as rising stars. The official nomination form, and more information, can be found at HBSDtopwomen.com/2020

HBSDealer Daily Newsletter: Features Every Day The HBSDealer Daily Newsletter, the industry’s leading news source, features news, analysis, videos and commentary — plus these regular, weekly features. Sign up to receive your daily news at hbsdealer.com. Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Quikrete Industry Dashboard

HBSDealer Poll Question

Principia Stat of the Week

Throwback Thursday

Eye on Retail

The polls are open. Your voice is wanted. HBSDealer.com publishes weekly poll questions on pressing industry matters, and other topics. For instance:

Q

What’s your total-housing-starts forecast for 2020?

Follow us @HBSDealer

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Poll questions and results appear every week at HBSDealer.com.

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

8%

3%

1.5 -1.6 million

Over 1.6 million

5%

Under 1 million

9%

1.0 -1.1 million

11%

1.4 -1.5 million

14%

1.1 -1.2 million

28%

1.3 -1.4 million

22%

1.2 -1.3 million

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FROM THE EDITOR

HBSDEALER HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY

A big check, a beautiful child The place card indicated “table 1.” Clearly, I thought, there’s been some kind of mistake. A digit is missing. I consulted the host. Nope. Take your seat. So there I was, at a gala event sitting front and center with the keynote speaker and several past honorees of the Spirit of Life Award. This is the table from which thousands of dollars of spontaneous donations flow to City of Hope, and millions have been raised over the years. Star struck, but not panic-stricken, I resolved to pay attention and take good notes. So that’s what I did, and here’s what I wrote:

Brad Paulsen, left, with a big check and three of his many teammates.

Las Vegas — Some of the biggest names and biggest brands in home improvement packed a ballroom at Caesar’s Palace in January for the Spirit of Life awards ceremony to support City of Hope. The night culminated in the presentation of a large novelty check made out to the disease research facility to the tune of $1.3 million. Last minute generosity from the industry pushed the night’s total over $1.4 million. The big names included The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Quikrete, and the night’s Spirit of Life honoree Brad Paulsen, president of HD Supply Facilities & Maintenance. But the undeniable star of the gala event was a little girl who wasn’t even

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Hardware + Building Supply Dealer An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631 hbsdealer.com HBSDealer On The Web • HBSDealer Info Services SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT (HBSDealer, Drug Store News, Chain Store Age) John Kenlon, jkenlon@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5238 EDITOR IN CHIEF Ken Clark kclark@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5139

Ken Clark Editor in Chief

LBM EDITOR Andy Carlo acarlo@ensembleiq.com, 845-891-5108 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Ken Ryan ryankgr@aol.com, 516-567-3034

in attendance. Anna Olivia Healey died of cancer years earlier. But her story and her family inspired the event’s keynote speaker to dedicate her career to a cure for cancer. The speaker, the City of Hope research scientist Linda Malkas, told the story of meeting Anna’s family when the scientist was the Vera Bradley Chair of Oncology at Indiana University. The meeting changed the course of her research, and led her to City of Hope, where she is a professor and associate chair of molecular and cellular biology. Pointing to the exciting promise of precision medicine, she told the hardware and homebuilding audience: “We stand at the threshold of miracles. Because of you.” One such miracle, potentially, is the promising cancer drug AOH1996, named after Anna and the year she was born. The night’s speakers included Paulsen and his former colleague at The Home Depot, Giles Bowman, last year’s Spirit of Life honoree. They and others leaned on phrases such as “visionary cancer breakthroughs,” “medical miracles,” and, or course, “hope.” In his address, the 2020 honoree Paulsen shared how he felt lucky to work for a string of companies — including The Home Depot and HD Supply — that emphasized giving back to their communities. And he thanked the audience for its “continued support of City of Hope and its life-saving efforts.” In that effort, “we are all team members,” he added. HBSD

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

Editorial Inquiries: Direct questions to Editor in Chief Ken Clark. ADVERTISING SALES

Midwest & Southeastern States SENIOR REGIONAL MANAGER Amy Platter Grant agrant@ensembleiq.com, 773-294-8598 Northeast and Great Lakes States REGIONAL MANAGER Greg Cole gcole@ensembleiq.com, 317-775-2206 PRODUCTION/ART

VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCTION Derek Estey destey@ensembleiq.com, 877-687-7321 DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION Michael Kimpton mkimpton@ensembleiq.com, 647-557-5075 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Colette Magliaro cmagliaro@ensembleiq.com ART DIRECTOR Bill Antkowiak bantkowiak@ensembleiq.com PRODEALER INDUSTRY SUMMIT OCT. 7TH TO 9TH, SAN ANTONIO, TX WWW.PRODEALER.COM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NLBMDA, WWW.DEALER.ORG CONTACT: AMY PLATTER GRANT agrant@ensembleiq.com, PDIS DIRECTOR OF SPONSORSHIPS PUBLISHER OF HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER, DRUG STORE NEWS, CHAIN STORE AGE. CIRCULATION LIST MANAGER: ELIZABETH JACKSON, MERITDIRECT (847) 492-1350 X318. PERMISSIONS: MATERIALS IN THIS PUBLICATION MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. TO ORDER REPRINTS CALL PARS INTERNATIONAL AT (212) 221-9595, EXT. 435, OR EMAIL LF-REPRINTS@PARSINTL.COM. CONTACT COPYRIGHT CLEARANCE CENTER, 222 ROSEWOOD DRIVE, DANVERS, MA 01923, (978) 646-2600 OR (855) 239-3415, OR ON THE WEB AT COPYRIGHT.COM FOR IMMEDIATE AUTHORIZATION TO PHOTOCOPY FROM HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER (ISSN 2376-5852).

Corporate Officers CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Jennifer Litterick CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Jane Volland CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER Tanner Van Dusen CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICER Ann Jadown EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, EVENTS & CONFERENCES Ed Several

connect with us

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NEWS + ANALYSIS

Beacon’s new brand tells the story: More than roofing

Beacon also redesiged its website.

Beacon Roofing Supply is rebranding 40 of its banners in North America. The company said most of its branches will now be named Beacon Building Products, with the new name reflecting the company’s wide array of residential and commercial building product offerings in addition to the services it offers.

The new name and logo will be adopted at over 450 Beacon one-step exterior products branches. “Beacon is constantly evolving to help our customers be more efficient and grow their businesses by providing products, services and an e-commerce platform unmatched by our competitors,” said Beacon President and CEO, Julian Francis. “The new branding supports

our commitment to improving the total customer experience by better identifying Beacon as a full-service supplier for building products. This is a very exciting change that is an important element in our growth strategy.” Francis joined Beacon as its new top executive last September. The Herndon, Va.-based company, which boasts more than 500 locations overall in the United States and Canada, said the Beacon brand “means customers benefit from the industry’s best e-commerce platform, a new OTC (On-Time and Complete) Delivery Network and a newlydesigned website.” “Beacon’s customers enjoy a partnership that supports their businesses at every stage, from sales to project management to job close-out. We are proud to be raising the Beacon flag in all our markets so that customers can recognize the quality products and

services offered on-site and online,” commented Jamie Samide, Beacon vice president of marketing. Beacon’s updated site provides connectivity to its Beacon Pro+ e-commerce site and the Beacon 3D+ estimating platform. Beacon’s OTC (OnTime & Complete) Network has been further developed to support in-store and online customers with enhanced product availability, delivery tracking and notification, the company said. Beacon’s interior, insulation, weatherproofing and two-step branches will continue to operate under current brand names.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“You people I know very well. I like that business, I’ve always liked that business. And it’s never been better than it is right now.” — President Donald Trump, in a video message to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) played at the recent International Builders’ Show.

FOLLOWING UP

Cameron Ashley acquires J&R Products Last month’s cover story on Cameron Ashley Building Products described a frenzy of recent growth activity. Soon after publication, the Greenville, S.C.-based building products distributor made another acquisition – this time of Bluffton, Ind.-based J&R Products.

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J&R will bring more insulation and weatherization accessories to the company’s product portfolio. J&R’s product mix includes hand tools, caulk, weather stripping, tapes, foam and fastening

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

systems. Along with its Blufton headquarters, J&R also distributes products out of a distribution center in Reno, Nev. with guaranteed two-day delivery anywhere in the United States.

HBSDealer.com


Mike Kimball, CEO - Ian Williams, COO Fresno Ag Hardware, Fresno, California


“Our philosophy as a company is to always be an asset to our community. That means it’s up to us to make sure we’re working with suppliers that best serves our customer’s and client’s needs. Midwest Fastener continues to exceed expectations by providing an amazing product selection, competitive pricing and quality customer service that you can’t find anywhere else.” – Mike Kimball, CEO


NEWS + ANALYSIS Product Knowledge Product: OLFA MXP-L die-cast aluminum utility knife Manufacturer: Osaka, Japanbased OLFA. Knowledge: Here’s a heavy duty cutting tool encased in a single piece of metal, pressure formed for durability. The OLFA snap-off blade concept allows users to restore a sharp edge in seconds, simply by snapping off a piece of the blade at the scored line. The MXP-AL version offers an autolock mechanism, as opposed to the wheel-like locking mechanism of the MXP-L. Exclusively distributed in North America by Corelle Brands. Fun fact one: OLFA is an abbreviation of two Japanese words that translate to “to break a blade.” Fun fact two: Founder Yoshio Okado (1931-1990) invented the snap-off blade after ruminating on two ideas: 1) the sharp edges of broken glass and 2) the easy snap of chocolate bars breaking into segments.

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For Tri-State Building Center, lobbying is all in the family Brett Hanson, owner of Tri-State Building Center in eastern South Dakota, says he benefits from high quality legislative representation on both a federal and state level. And he’s particularly proud of the way South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson has contributed to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, recently signed into existence by the president and the Senate. But Hanson is not about to slow down his crusade to promote education and legislation to benefit small businesses like his own. In an interview with HBSDealer, Hanson quickly shared his passion for participating in the legislative process. “I really enjoy seeing our representatives in Washington,” he said. “They seem to always listen and take time to meet with us. And while that’s something I take great pride in, the greatest part is watching my son and daughter experience and learn about this amazing process — and watching them learn first-hand how our country is run. “This country’s political situation takes a lot of heat, with its non-stop infighting,” he added. “But there’s so much more to it. When I can bring my children [Colter, 15; Andra, 13] to the Capitol and all the places that played an integral role in the development of our country, when I can teach them about the process and get them interested, that’s what this country is all about.” One memory in particular stands out: the sight of Iowa Congressman Dave Young pulling Hanson’s son, Colter, onto the stage at the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association’s 2018 Legislative

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

From left: Brett, Andra and Colter Hanson on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Conference and introducing him with the words: “Here is the future.” As a board member of the NLBMDA and representative of the Northwest Lumber Association, Hanson is an ambassador of the NLBMDA Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., set for March 23-25. It’s never been more important to participate in the legislative process, he said. Consolidation continues to put smaller businesses at disadvantages when it comes to their ability to monitor and comply with regulations, he said. “I wish I could go door to door, to every lumberyard and small business, to stress the importance of these associations,” he said. “The voice we have as a group is the most important thing.”

“I really enjoy seeing our representatives in Washington. They seem to always listen and take time to meet with us.” —Brett Hanson, Owner, Tri-State Building Center

HBSDealer.com


Supporting your local tradesmen The Home Builders Institute (HBI) announced The Home Depot Foundation (THDF) will commit up to $500,000 to fund student training in home construction careers in high schools across the United States. Additionally, the National Housing Endowment (NHE), the philanthropic arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), has pledged $200,000 in support of the effort. This combined $700,000 will provide training to thousands of students for construction trades skills. “Education and the construction

industry continue to evolve and present new challenges and opportunities for the skilled trades workforce,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. “This year is expected to hold pivotal moments for each sector, and we’re excited to help bring fresh trades opportunities to our youth, as well as be on the forefront of the positive changes to come.” The funds will allow HBI and THDF to provide a hands-on curriculum for high school students nationwide, along with instructor training and materials. Upon completion, students will earn a preapprenticeship certification endorsed by NAHB and recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The programs will be available at no additional cost to students and their families. Industry data shows there are an

estimated 311,000 open jobs, like carpentry, electrical, plumbing and others in residential construction. “Residential construction growth will continue in 2020 and thereafter, supported by low interest rates, solid economic growth and a lack of housing inventory,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “At the same time, the home building industry faces a skilled trades gap,” said Ed Brady, HBI president and CEO. “As a result, opportunities for wellpaid, rewarding careers in residential construction are tremendous.” THDF’s $500,000 commitment is part of a $50 million partnership with HBI, launched in 2018 to train 20,000 tradespeople over 10 years.

News Map: Openings, Closings & Acquisitions Illustration of retailers and dealers in various stages of coming and going. For more retail news, visit HBSDealer.com OPENING

wisconsin

Madison ABC Supply The 790-location specialty distributor ABC Supply acquired the assets of Midwest Wholesale Materials Co., based in Madison, Wis. Founded in 1960, MWM is a single-location distributor of siding, windows, doors and steep-slope roofing. With the deal, ABC now operates 18 locations in Wisconsin.

CLOSING

ACQUISITION

vermont

Manchester Center Allen Lumber Allen Lumber Inc. is being acquired by r.k. Miles, Inc., the Manchester Center, Vt.-based pro dealer. The move includes the acquisition of locations in Barre, Montpelier, Waitsfield, and St. Johnsbury, Vt. A third-generation family business, r.k. Miles celebrates its 80th year in March.

iowa

Sioux City Wilmes Do it Best Hardware Expected this spring, Wilmes Do it Best Hardware will open a 30,000 square foot store in a former Shopko. The store, located in Marketplace Shopping Center, will be the second for Mike and Gina Wilmes. The husband-wife team also operate a Wilmes Do it Best Hardware store in South Sioux City. They’ve been in the hardware business since 1988.

HBSDealer.com

tennessee

Oak Ridge Downtown Hardware Downtown Hardware, a secondgeneration hardware store plans to close its doors for good at the end of February. The brother-sister team of Ann Bratton and Roger Clary are the current owners of Downtown Hardware, which stood up to Walmart, Kmart and Home Depot over its six decades of business.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER FEBRUARY 2020

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NEWS + ANALYSIS

Best of IBS Awards embrace comfy, smart and sustainable Products that bring the outside in, and vice versa, were winners. And so were products that changed the way builders think about sustainability. This year’s Best of IBS Awards received more than 350 entries. Decided by a panel of 28 independent judges made up of attending reporters and building professionals, the awards were given in nine categories, plus an overall Best in Show award. “The 2020 IBS exhibitors really brought their A-game this year,” said Fred Tobin, NAHB Conventions and Meetings Committee Chair. Among the winners: Best Indoor Product: Marvin Skycove by Marvin Part window, part nook, the Marvin Skycove is described by Marvin as a fully constructed glass pop-out structure that expands interior space and provides a comfortable, cozy place to gather. The 2020 Best Indoor Product winner envelops the homeowner in a sturdy glass bay window. It was born in the cmopany’s new Design Lab, which used insights from professionals in the

The Marvin Skycove is a window that invites relaxation.

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industry, home owners and unexpected sources – sleep scientists and astronauts, included.

concept still has legs. AeroBarrier is Greenguard certified, containing no harmful or toxic chemicals. The AeroBarrier application includes a solution that is sprayed into the building area, it then conjugates and seals holes as small as a hair follicle. The sealing process is controlled by computer, and shows the sealing results in real-time. That’s why it’s described as “breakthrough envelope sealing technology.”

The Micro CHP makes electricity, and heats your water.

Best in show: Enginuity Micro-CHP by Enginuity Power Systems Here’s the pitch: make your own electricity while you’re heating your water. And with that premise, the Enginuity Micro-CHP earned the rare triple crown — best in show, best home technology product and best energy efficient product. “CHP” stands for “Combined Heat and Power.” It replaces natural gas water heaters and efficiently turns gas into electricity by running it through a superquiet generator. The exhaust from that process efficiently heats the home’s water supply. The company says Micro-CHP puts the owner “on the cutting edge of sustainable comfort.” Best Green Building Product: AeroBarrier Observant readers will remember this system earned top honors at the International Builders’ Show back in 2018. The

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

An outdoor living space from StruXure.

Best Outdoor Product: The Outdoor Living Experience by Somfy, StruXure Outdoor and Phantom Screens StruXure Outdoor, Phantom Screens and Somfy partnered to create the Outdoor Living Experience, a 2,000 square foot life-size display. Outdoor Living Experience highlighted three unique outdoor settings, including the culinary outdoor kitchen, the open sky theater, and the four-season Smart patio, all of which showcase a one-stop-shop for state-of-the-art products and services that extend the indoors to the outside.

HBSDealer.com


INDEPENDENT PROFILE

Sullivan Hardware & Garden In Indianapolis, event marketing factors heavily in retail success.

Top left: Sullivan Hardware has been family owned since 1954. Top right: The Keystone Ave. store has become a holiday destination in North Indianapolis. Bottom: Eggfest attracts a crowd in the summer.

By Ken Clark

“M

ac ‘n Cheese is a product of communism and must be stopped. Help us save America by celebrating coleslaw.” That’s the message promoted by Sullivan Hardware & Garden on a Facebook video last year to promote the retailer’s “Indy Slawfest.” The video included an employee smashing a plate of macaroni and cheese. Another video on the Indianapolis retailer’s social media platform shows owner Pat Sullivan giving an inspirational speech to a room full of grills. Just Pat and the grills. No one else. There’s a method to the madness at Sullivan Hardware, which uses this type of wildcat marketing and crazy social promotions to draw crowds to its famous customer events. “The crazier the better, sometimes,” said Sullivan. Sullivan Hardware & Garden is a bona fide lawn and garden destination, voted “Best Garden Center” by Indy’s A-List magazine. Operator of three Indiana locations — two in Indy, one in Cicero — President Pat Sullivan has earned a spot as a regular contributor to the local Indianapolis TV station WTHR, sharing advice on all things hardware and garden. The grounds at the family business’s main Keystone Ave. location can be described as a carefully manicured wonderland of garden, gifts and grills, among other core hardware essentials. The scenery sets the stage for the Sullivan Santa Express, a wildly successful attraction that attracts tens of thousands of visitors over

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the holidays. The attraction features a colorful, mini train that brings the young and young at heart to Santa’s lap. Family tickets are $50 and up. (Yes, the train service is profitable.) Coming up on the hardware store’s calendar: The Sullivan’s Valentine Event. A surf-and-turf dinner, a comedy show and champagne desert are included in a $75 ticket. Arguably the premier Sullivans event is the summertime Eggfest, now going on 12 years. In 2019, it boasted more than 75 Big Green Eggs blazing, along with craft beer and live music. There’s a reason the retailer is a big believer in customer events. “They really connect you with the community,” said Sullivan, president of the family business. “And there’s just nothing better when they really feel like they’re part of your business.” Planning and promoting a high

quality events, according to the Sullivans playbook, includes a lot of radio and a lot of social media. The retailer leverages data from its rewards program “Best Rewards,” which has about 15,000 e-mail addresses. “I think it’s important to have all of your staff on board,” Sullivan told fellow Do it Best members during a “Celebration of Excellence” presentation in Indianapolis. “For a top notch event, you want to go above customer expectations.” And if you’re just starting out, it’s important to come out with a bang, he said. “So many times, a store will say, ‘we’ll try this, and maybe we’ll use five [grills]. And next year if it works, we’ll make it bigger.’ But you really need to go big and have that quality right there from the beginning. Because then your customers start to trust that you are putting on a top-notch event.”

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER FEBRUARY 2020

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Outdoor exhibit: a combination of Deckorators Voyage Sierra and Tundra with a black pergola and lattice panels.

DEALING WITH A

The decking industry continues to grow with the help of strong demand and new products.

FULL DECK

here’s little doubt that the decking industry remains as solid as the board and products it’s built upon. The North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA) estimates that the total decking industry has continued its growth to an anticipated $8 billion in 2020 sales. This expansion is expected to continue over the next three years with the potential to hit the $10 billion mark, and then to drive on further. The volume of residential decks

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currently in use has been calculated at just under 50 million with a replacement value of $427.8 billion. According to Mike Beaudry, executive vice president of NADRA, timber remains the dominant material. Composites, meanwhile, are set to pass the 20% annual market share and are also projected to take up much of the future growth in decking due to their enhanced aesthetics and lower maintenance demands. “Longer-term, there is 50% of the current deck stock now beyond its life expectancy and in need of replacement, Beaudry says. “Both the premium

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

By Andy Carlo

contractor and self-build sectors should see solid volume growth.” Deck disruptors are on the horizon, too. Direct-to-consumer sales via e-commerce are expected to develop more aggressively as logistics becomes viable for larger collated material packages. This dynamic shift could put the general contractor under increasing pressure to remain competitive and reassess how they trade and interact with their customers. When it comes to the aesthetics of decking, the experts say the exterior of a home is becoming as important

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as the interior. “Homeowners now view their living area as something that extends beyond the four walls of their home,” says Jase DeBoer, senior category marketing manager for Deckorators. “They want to make the very most of that exterior space — especially if the area is in an urban setting or modest in size. So, while overall beauty is important, getting the most of the space is on-trend.” Pairing multiple colors on a composite deck is becoming more common, according to DeBoer. Builders are also using complementary colors to add accents and contrast to a space. The field of the deck is often one color paired with an accent color for breaker boards, perimeter boards, stairs and even innovative designs for deck skirting. With this, a muted or matte finish to the decking really adds to the look of natural hardwood as opposed to a finish with more gloss. “Just as color is providing opportunities for creativity, so is multiwidth decking,” DeBoer notes. Continuing the trend of interior design flowing outdoors, decking in various widths allows for beautiful, trend-forward designs. Wide boards

make for great picture frame options while narrow boards make for simple accents — like a double border, or for use in a custom bench. The scope, performance, and quality of materials available within the deck construction environment continue to evolve giving the consumer addedvalue options both aesthetically and commercially. “The decking market as the central part of the wider outdoor living environment looks to be set for strong short-to-medium-term growth supported by longer-term replacement demand that will be the foundation that ensures the future of the market,” Beaudry says. Despite many innovative features — a popular innovation that’s gaining attention is slip-resistance — homeowners still start with aesthetics. There is an expectation that decking will be durable and have great performance, but it starts with beauty. “For homeowners, it comes down to beauty, performance and peace of mind,” DeBoer explains. “Contractors prefer these materials because they are easier to work with, have warranties to support them, and in some cases, differentiate them from

“The decking market as the central part of the wider outdoor living environment looks to be set for strong short-tomedium-term growth supported by longerterm replacement demand that will be the foundation that ensures the future of the market.” —Mike Beaudry, EVP, North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA)

competition. These materials are also transitioning from ‘new’ and ‘highend’ to more traditional and common for homeowners.” With the housing market looking at another positive year in 2020, deck and deck replacements represent a steady revenue stream. “Adding a deck to an existing home continues to be a common investment and offers one of the best returns on investment for home projects,”DeBoer says. Along those lines, here are some of the latest products from the decking industry for 2020.

Deckorators Voyage Khaya decking

Deckorators has expanded its Voyage composite decking line to include a fifth color — Khaya, a true brown —and varied-plank decking. Khaya joins four other trend-forward color options in the Deckorators Voyage decking offering: Sierra (dark gray), Tundra (gray), Costa (golden brown), and Mesa (red brown). The new color meets deck contractor and homeowner demand for a darker brown composite decking with the unique Voyage benefits of enhanced slip resistance and bold vertical grain variegation. Khaya is available in 12-, 16- and 20-foot grooved and solid-edge profiles, as well as 12-foot fascia. New Deckorators Voyage varied-plank decking is available in all five colors and widths of 3½ inches, 5½ inches and 7¼ inches, bringing the interior design trend of mixing widths of hardwood flooring to outdoor living. Deckorators.com.

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Zuri Premium by Royal

Zuri Premium Decking combines the natural beauty of exotic hardwood with durability and low maintenance requirements to create a one-of-a-kind outdoor living environment. Zuri is available in square boards and in grooved boards, which offer a truly hidden fastener application with prethreaded screws for fast installation. Zuri grooved boards are offered with a 3/32” spacing or a 3/16” gap. All of the Zuri products are available in Chestnut, Walnut, Pecan, Brazilia and Weathered Gray, and are backed by a 25-year Color Fastness Warranty against color shifting. RoyalBuildingProducts.com.

MoistureShield Elevate decking

MoistureShield has unveiled new Elevate decking, featuring advanced protection and beauty within an entry-level budget. Elevate capped wood composite decking features a strong, protective cap, which shields each board from impact, corrosion and harsh weather. Elevate is available in Lake Fog, a soft gray shade, and Canoe, which is a forest brown. Elevate also features the Solid Core Difference offering protection against moisture absorption, warping, rotting, and damage from insects right at the core of each board. Elevate 5/4 deck boards are available in 12 and 16- ft. lengths in grooved profiles (for hidden fasteners) and 20-foot lengths with a solid edge for deck stairs and picture framing, as well as fascia boards in 12-foot lengths. MoistureShield.com.

Envision Ridge Premium

Envision Building Products expands its decking offering with Ridge Premium — a capped composite decking line with a fluted profile. Crafted with Compress Technology to physically bond the high-density cap to its fluted EverGrain Core, Ridge Premium is lighter-weight, low-maintenance, and long-lasting decking with the budget-friendly nature of wood. Inspired by the hues found in popular natural woods, Ridge Premium is available in three beautiful, softly blended colors that bring the wow-factor to any outdoor space. The dark brown Black Walnut, light brown Vintage Oak, or cool grey Gunstock are sure to complement the design style of any home. Envisiondecking.com.

Trex/Danver outdoor kitchens

Trex Company has teamed with the manufacturers of category pioneer and leader Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens to offer a new selection of luxurious cabinetry and components in its revamped Trex Outdoor Kitchens collection. The new lineup offers stainless steel cabinetry solutions for today’s outdoor kitchens with style, durability and easy maintenance. It includes seven distinctive door styles comprised of Danver’s top-five sellers and two designs exclusive to Trex. Trex.com.

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INDUSTRY PROFILE

an excellent way to ensure these outdoor spaces look beautiful and clean.

NewTechWood Striving to be the No. 1 choice for composite decking. NewTechWood is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of composite decking, siding, deck tiles, railing, and other outdoor products. Since its inception in 2004, NewTechWood (NTW) has been on the cutting edge in wood plastic composite technology—earning a well-deserved reputation for innovative, dependable products that bring beauty and practicality to spaces worldwide. The company’s trajectory turned in 2010 when it began a project to design and formulate a composite deck board that would meet several criteria: durability, attractiveness, and fade and scratch resistance. The objective was to create the most reliable composite deck board in the industry. After years of engineering and hours of field testing, the company launched UltraShield, a decking product of unmatched performance and beauty. The company has been blazing a path ever since. Below, Richard Lam, CEO of NewTechWood, discusses the company’s origins, growth and market successes. How did NTW get its start? Richard Lam: We originated from an

international recycling organization that saw an opportunity in making innovative construction materials using recycled plastic. NewTechWood has existed in some form or another for almost 20 years, much of that time operating in the United States as well. What kind of feedback do you get from customers that helped shape your strategy? RL: Customers love our products. They note

that it is easy to install and has a great look, being applicable to both natural and modern aesthetics. They also love our fantastic customer service. What trends do you see in the decking industry? RL: Decking is moving towards being

environmentally friendly, with maintenancefree products. For these trends, NTW is a perfect fit because those values drive our innovative products.

Ultrashield seems to be a selling point. How would you describe how that works, and what makes it special? RL: Speaking of a selling point —

UltraShield Naturale is our trademark for the quality material in our deck boards, siding, deck tiles, and garden products. We start with a maintenance-free core of recycled plastic and wood fiber, which allows our product to be solid and easy to cut — but also strong. We then cover it with the UltraShield, a plastic coat that can be embossed with a variety of patterns to match any look while still having a wonderful quality, and look natural. Or as we say, “Naturale.” How do you make it easy for dealers to sell your products? RL: We offer reliable and friendly customer

service, competitive pricing, quick turnarounds and a variety of products. Plus, we are flexible to work with. All of this allows our dealers to feel like they’re part of the NewTechWood family. Have you seen the most amount of growth in, say, the last 5 years? RL: Yes, through our keen strategy, through

What’s new about how people buy your products? RL: NewTechWood is rapidly expanding

our retail and distributor channels, and through our continual development of new products, NewTechWood has only been rising faster and faster these last few years. Additionally, our innovations extend beyond our products. We have upgraded the technology that works behind the scenes to ensure proper order processing, warehouse management, shipping and logistics.

our business in the U.S., and it seems like every day we offer new lumberyards, distributors, and retailer options to purchase our products.

What are your challenges and opportunities? RL: As a growing company, we have

NewTechWood deck board installations can be found throughout the world, including this hotel rooftop in Bangkok.

How does it help the business to be involved in so many different facets? Railing, siding, decking, lawn and garden? RL: Being part of the whole ecosystem

of great outdoor spaces allows NewTechWood to be a one-stop shop for those interested in creating such beautiful environments. In addition to all the advantages of NewTechWood’s high quality material, our variety of products also allows for color matching, which is ADVERTORIAL

to stay innovative and offer new products, profiles, and colors through an ever-growing list of purchasing channels. We’re not the biggest player, nor the smallest. But we are nimble, and must remain vigilant towards our competitors. We see this as opportunity — to continue our decade-long trajectory of year-upon-year growth, and continue to be the name for the best composite decking, siding, deck tiles, and garden products in the market.


TimberTech

Fiberon Concordia decking

Create a tranquil outdoor retreat with Fiberon Concordia decking. From peaceful mornings to warm summer nights, Concordia is the perfect fit for a casual lifestyle. Concordia combines two popular Fiberon decking lines – Symmetry and Horizon – under one product name featuring two collections of multi-tonal hues. The dramatic colors and streaking emulate exotic hardwoods, and the low-gloss formula and microtexturing create a unique finish. Concordia decking is also tested and approved for use in rainscreen or cladding applications. The Concordia Symmetry and Horizon Collections are backed by a lifetime performance warranty and a 50-year stain and fade warranty. Fiberon.com.

TimberTech continues to expand its multi-width decking offerings with two new 7.25” wide width boards in the Harvest Collection; Brownstone and Slate Gray. This enables faster installation and complements the existing Vintage Collection Multi-Width Decking portfolio, which includes 3.5”, 5.5” and 7.25” width boards in six Vintage colors. MAX boards are also new to TimberTech, offering a 1.5’’ thickness, ideal for boardwalks, docks, and more. Additionally, the TimberTech PRO Decking line is evolving with the addition of the new Reserve collection which features four bold colors and a natural, matte finish. The on-trend colors — including two grays and two browns — emulate natural, reclaimed hardwood and provide a significant level of color variation. Newthingsondeck.com.

Fortress Building Products Apex decking

Fortress Building Products has launched its new Apex decking line, which boasts the latest in premium capping technology. Forged by composite engineering, the line consists of a lightweight bamboo and cellular PVC core, capped by the highest grade of acrylic polymer for ultimate protection, allowing the deck boards to withstand even the harshest of climates. Backed by a 25-Year Warranty, the product is also fade-, stain-, scratch-, slip-, moisture- and fire-resistant, resulting in a deck that will last the test of time, while requiring minimal maintenance. What’s more, Apex comes in a variety of profiles and dual tone colors, for a personalized, natural look that will make a statement no matter the outdoor space. FortressBP.com.

Feeney DesignRail

Feeney has unveiled new Wood Grain finishes for its DesignRail Top Rail. Available as a DesignRail custom option, the powder coat finishes come in three realistic wood grains – Weathered Gray, Walnut and Cherry. Well-suited for both interior and exterior applications, the durable, fade-resistant finishes offer the organic look of wood without the ongoing maintenance requirements. Like all of Feeney’s powder coat finishes, the Wood Grain finishes adhere to AAMA 2604 coating specifications for superior impact and weather resistance, and color retention. The Wood Grain Top Rail can be mixed with any DesignRail frame color, including a range of standard or custom colors, and matched to the wood used on a deck to create a seamless look. Feeneyinc.com.

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Regal Ideas

Light up the outdoors with Regal Ideas LED Lighting System. Users can create that perfect outdoor living sanctuary and make your deck come alive with Regal ideas LED lighting System, with energy-efficient LED technology. The system is compatible with Regal Ideas pickets and tempered glass systems and does not require splicing of wires, or hard wiring — simply “plug-n-play.” With 3 colors and brightness settings, the system is perfect to set the right mood. Regal ideas also offers Crystal Rail, which provides the ultimate view with a crystal-clear unobstructed view. No Posts, no rails, just the view. Crystal rail brings nature closer to you and gives you the sense of freedom by eliminating posts and those rails that always seem to be in the sight line. RegalIdeas.com.

NewTechWood

NewTechWood siding has just been introduced in a European-style castellation profile. Available in both slim (UH46) and wide (UH58) shapes, NewTechWood siding is an environmentally-friendly product, made of recycled plastic and wood. NewTechWood siding is available in a standard mix of browns and grays, as well as several special order colors. Easy to install, long-lasting, beautiful, and competitively priced, NewTechWood siding is a great option for any project’s interior or exterior wall. NewTechWood.com.

AZEK Classic Composite Series

AZEK’s popular composite RadianceRail, Premier Rail, and Trademark Rail are transitioning to a universal common bottom rail and will be classified as the Classic Composite Series. Included in that series is the new composite Drink Rail top rail option which allows homeowners to use a deck board as the top rail. This gives homeowners a universal system with four distinctive top rail options. Azek.com.

Armadillo from Avon Plastics

Avon Plastics has introduced a new profile of Armadillo composite solid decking. Now available in 20’ 6”, sizes Armadillo Solid Deck Boards can accommodate the advantage of longer spans. Still the same great products, now with more to offer. Designed for beauty, made for life, Armadillo decking is a solid choice for contractors and homeowners. ArmadilloDeck.com. 

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MARKET INSIGHTS

Pitching to Pros in Las Vegas Dealers raise the ante at the International Builders’ Show By Andy Carlo LAS VEGAS – The 2020 International Builders’ Show continues to be a strong vehicle for top industry retailers making their best products and services proposition to professional customers. Among major players at this year’s event, held here at the Las Vegas Convention Center, were 84 Lumber, Lowe’s, ABC Supply and Lumber Liquidators. Lowe’s unveiled a new pro customer loyalty program, Lowe’s 4Pros, which will provide professional customers with personalized shopping offers, spending and purchase tracking, and business management tools. The program is expected to fully launch within the first quarter of this year. At its booth on the IBS show floor, Lowe’s brought a collection of

Attendees mingle at the No Nonsense Housing Co.’s mid-century modern house built in the parking lot.

Meet the new Chairman Dean Mon, a New Jersey-based builder and developer with more than 30 years of experience in the home building industry, has been elected as the 2020 chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Mon was elected during the association’s International Builders’ Show held this week in Las Vegas. He is the first Hispanic to be elected chairman of NAHB. Mon is president of the D.R. Mon Group, Inc., which specializes in the development and construction of green urban living projects throughout New Jersey. Since 1985, the company

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has created communities in Morris, Hunterdon, Union, Hudson and Monmouth Counties. “In this pivotal presidential election year, our top priority will be to work with Congress and the administration to tackle America’s housing affordability crisis by removing regulatory barriers that harm small Dean Mon businesses

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

and raise housing costs,” said Mon. “We will also urge Congress to enact comprehensive housing finance reform to ensure that single-family and multifamily housing credit remains readily available and affordable.” Mon served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970, achieving the rank of sergeant, and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. He replaces Connecticut builder Greg Ugalde who served as NAHB chairman in 2019.

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popular pro brands while featuring product demos. “We are bringing on board some of the most innovative pro tools out there in the market,” Fred Stokes, Lowe’s senior vice president of pro sales and services told HBSDealer. Stokes didn’t hesitate to demonstrate some of Lowe’s latest prooriented products, including Spyder’s carbide tipped hole saw. “As we partner with brands like Spyder or Sherwin-Williams, we are focusing on the needs of the pro customer,” Stokes explained. Scott Matthews, Lowe’s vice president of pro sales, said the products along with upcoming demos in Lowe’s stores are all part of the retailer’s new pro experience. That includes “fast in and fast out” service when pros shop at Lowe’s. 84 Lumber’s message at IBS focused on the products and services the company offers in addition to building materials. A video at the dealer’s booth highlighted some of the company’s offerings including millwork, design services, and component installation. “This is a great opportunity to connect with our customers and our vendor partners,” said Amy Smiley, 84 Lumber vice president of marketing. “This is that one time of the year when we are all in one place together.” Component manufacturing expansion is high on 84 Lumber’s agenda for 2020. The company has opened a new facility in New Britain, Pa., which will service southern New Jersey, Philadelphia and parts of Delaware. Other component plants expected to come online in 2020 include a facility in the Richmond, Va. market;

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Forecast: Underbuilding, but growing

Fred Stokes (center), Lowe’s senior vice president of pro sales and services, demonstrates a carbide tipped hole saw blade from Spyder at IBS 2020.

and a Mansfield, Ohio, facility, which will serve the Cleveland and Columbus markets. Specialty flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators made its case for how it can provide assistance for its pro customers. “We truly want to be a business partner with our pro customers and help them grow their business,” said Steve Stocki, Lumber Liquidators sales and service manager of marketing and merchandising. Stocki said that pro sales account for roughly 30% of the retailer’s sales. “But we are really looking to grow that business,” he said. That includes biggers sales to remodelers, home builders, property managers, architects and designers and commercial sales. Having professional customers utilize Lumber Liquidator’s locations and services are part of the mix for bigger sales. “Our pros can come into the store and work with us or they can just have their customers come in for a visit,” Stocki said. “It’s white glove service for our professional customers.”

LAS VEGAS — Residential construction should continue on a steady, upward trajectory. That was the message as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) provided its housing industry forecast for 2020, including what lies ahead for residential construction and remodeling activity. The NAHB Economic Outlook report was delivered on the opening day of the 2020 International Builders’ Show, held here at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Single-family starts should continue on a gradual climb in 2020, fueled by solid job growth and low mortgage rates that will keep demand firm, the NAHB said. “Low resale inventory, favorable mortgage rates, historically low unemployment and accelerating wage growth are driving builder sentiment and point to single-family production gains in 2020,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “At the same time, builders are still underbuilding as they continue to struggle with rising construction costs stemming from excessive regulations, a chronic shortage of workers and a lack of buildable lots. These affordability headwinds are impeding more robust construction growth.” Total housing starts are expected to hit 1.3 million units in 2020, up more than 2% from last year. While this would mark the highest output since 2007, it is still well below the production levels that averaged 1.5 million units annually from 1960-2007. Single-family starts are forecast to increase more than 3% from 2019 to about 920,000 units. That’s still less than the 1 million to 1.1 million units that demographics would support. Some of the shortfall is being made up by increased use of accessory dwelling units and young adults who who live at home.

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MARKET INSIGHTS

Lowe’s and Google put their heads in the Cloud

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owe’s is in the early stages of what it calls a multiyear technology transformation and is investing more than $500 million annually through 2021. The Mooresville, N.C.-based retailer is also hiring up to 2,000 engineers for the purpose of strengthening its retail experiences. And to support it all, Lowe’s and Google Cloud are expanding their partnership to create a “best-in-class technology foundation.” The move includes improving the retailer’s customer service experiences while providing store associates with better tools to assist customers, regardless of whether they are shopping online or in a store. The tech strategy for the home improvement company includes new investments toward modernizing Lowes’

SURE $)DRIVE

e-commerce, merchandising, supply chain management, and pricing systems. Lowe’s said that it will ultimately provide a more fluid, “channelless” customer experience spanning from product discovery to return visits. Godbole “We are making substantial investments in technology to modernize our platforms and advance our digital capabilities,” said Seemantini Godbole, executive vice president and chief information officer of Lowe’s. “Partners like Google Cloud provide the innovative tools and support we need to execute our digital transformation.” Lowe’s began transitioning off its legacy e-commerce system in late 2018, choosing Google Cloud with the goal of increasing the speed, reliability, and performance of Lowes.com. Lowe’s is now looking at how Google Cloud technology can improve the customer experience across all parts of the business, with a focus on three key areas: • A seamless, personalized digital experience: Lowe’s is working to optimize the online customer journey, from search to navigation to checkout, personalizing the experience for different types of customers. • Merchandising and inventory improvements: Using Android-based mobile devices and Google Cloud technology, Lowe’s is giving store associates the ability to view and update pricing and inventory on-the-fly. The company has rolled out 88,000 SMART Mobile devices to allow its associates to efficiently access realtime data without leaving the sales floor or losing engagement with a customer. • Data analytics and machine learning: Lowe’s is also leveraging Google Cloud to grow its capabilities using machine learning and analytics. By centralizing its data lakes into BigQuery, Lowe’s will empower employees across the company to gain greater visibility into different aspects of the business and make more data-driven decisions. This data centralization, coupled with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, will provide Lowe’s with the ability to model everything from the impact of severe weather to demand forecasting.

866-767-1850 | suredrive.com | sales@suredrive.com

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“The winners in the retail space will be those who focus less on the individual transactions and more on building long-term customer relationships that evolve and stay relevant as consumer preferences and channels change,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “Lowe’s already has great relationships with its customers, and we’re helping extend that in new and exciting ways.”

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Lowe’s revs up with Honda Lowe’s and Honda Power Equipment, a business unit of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced that the home improvement retailer will be a new destination for Honda’s line of outdoor power equipment. Honda products are already available at Lowes. com and begian rolling out to stores nationwide in late January and early February. Lowe’s said that it will offer a range of Honda outdoor power products, including walkbehind lawn mowers, generators, snow blowers, tillers, pumps and string trimmers for residential and commercial applications. “We are committed to offering a

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wide selection of brands DIY and pro customers know and trust, and Honda strengthens our ability to deliver on customer expectations in outdoor power equipment,” said Bill Boltz, executive vice president of merchandising for Lowe’s. “By providing customers with more highquality and durable products, we are making it even easier for our customers to complete their next outdoor project.” According to Lowe’s, the move provides customers with “greater access to high-quality offerings that will help them complete their outdoor spaces.” “The partnership between Lowe’s and Honda will help bring the industry’s best lawn and garden

The retailer will offer Honda’s DIY and professional mix including mowers and generators.

products to even more households nationwide,” said Will Walton, vice president of Honda Power Equipment. “At Honda, we’re looking forward to a relationship with Lowe’s and serving their customers with exceptional products through an exceptional shopping experience.”

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MARKET INSIGHTS

Dealers applaud USMCA ratification

NLBMDA describes USMCA as a “great victory for the LBM industry.” The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) released the following statement regarding the vote by the U.S. Senate to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): “NLBMDA is pleased that Congress has approved the USMCA and this is a great victory for the LBM industry,” said NLBMDA President and CEO Jonathan Paine. “Stability

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in North America is vital for a vibrant economy and this agreement will ensure trilateral relations in the region are strong and encourage success in residential and commercial housing and construction. We commend Congress for taking action on a new agreement that supports both the industry and the economy.” The USMCA was signed in 2018 by President Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada, but still had to

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

be approved by the legislatures of the three signing countries. Mexico has already approved the agreement, and Canada’s parliament is expected to take action in the next several months. With some additional minor procedural action, the agreement should take effect later this year. The deal, all 2,082-pages of it, effectively replaces the North American Free Trade Act, commonly referred to as NAFTA, which was

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signed into law by President Clinton. President Trump had previously described NAFTA as “a nightmare.” Among other things, USMCA creates environmental and labor standards for the three counties. It incentivizes car production in North America and opens Canadian markets for American dairy farmers. And it rolls back a NAFTA-era system of arbitration that allowed businesses to sue governments for uinfair treatment. Based in Washington, D.C., the NLBMDA represents more than 6,000 member locations operating single or multiple lumber yards and component plants serving homebuilders, subcontractors, general contractors, and consumers in the new construction, repair and remodeling of residential and light commercial structures.

Here’s how to lobby The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers’ Association is getting D.C.-ready. “It’s an incredible time for politics in Washington, and as the 2020 election cycle continues to gear up, both parties are quickly putting together their agendas before campaigns dominate the calendar,” said Bob Sanford, the NLBMDA chair and president of Connecticut-based Sanford & Hawley. There’s a lot stake. And that’s why Sanford appealed to dealers everywhere to participate in the association’s annual Spring Meeting & Legislative Conference — March 23-25, at the Westin Washington City Center in Washington D.C. Sanford explains it this way: “This

conference is your opportunity to hear from the lawmakers directly. We will bring members of the United States Congress directly to the conference to speak to you, and you’ll get to meet personally with lawmakers to make sure our collective legislative priorities and concerns are shared with leaders that are in a position to make a difference. You are the best representative for your business and industry, and your personal stories make a persuasive and powerful case for policies that will make residential housing and the overall economy stronger.” For more on the NLBMDA Spring Meeting, visit dealer.org.

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Join us in Chicago Nov. 4-5, for the first Top Women in Hardware and Building Supply Awards Gala! Visit HBSDTopWomen.com/2020

From Plodding Progress to Quantum Leap Three action items designed to keep women in the game and on the path to the C-suite. By Sarah Alter

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hen I was a young girl, I didn’t dream of becoming a nurse or a teacher. Both are honorable professions, but they’re weren’t in my wheelhouse. I wanted to be in business. And not just in the rank and file — I wanted to be a CEO. I didn’t have female CEO role models, though, because there were so few. There still are far too few. Even as our societal demographics continue to shift, the seats of power within global companies have remained stuck decades in the past. Now that I’m a CEO, I can look back on the road traveled. And I’m determined to be one of the executives who smooths the road for the women who come after me. If progress in the CEO ranks has been slower than desired, progress for women at the board level has also been sketchy. Recent numbers for the Fortune 500 show a trend — the same small group of women are being tapped for multiple boards. Seven women serve on four Fortune 500 boards. Thirty-four women serve on three. Boards want C-suite experience. Yet women comprise only 6.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs. And my organization’s research shows a female leadership crisis: Senior women are heading for the exits at a far higher rate than men. Female higher-level managers, executives and C-suite members leave their jobs nearly four times as often as men — 26.9% versus 7.3%. So it becomes a chicken-and-egg conundrum. California took the lead

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to legislate greater equality on boards, which should help get more qualified women into C-suite positions. Boardequality legislation is also moving through the legislature in my home state of Illinois, and being considered in New Jersey as well as a few other states. But I have to be honest: I’m always disappointed when it takes a law to force companies to do what’s good, right and just plain smart. From my own experience, there are potholes in the road to the executive suite. NEW research shows that a few issues across the board cause women to leave companies in droves. Just a few key actions could help them stay: Offering transition support/career pathing. When females report on the support that they receive from those above them in the corporate hierarchy, only half say that they receive support when they accept a new challenge or job. Men’s perception of support from peers and their managers ranks higher, at 63%. And while six out of 10 women say that their supervisor entrusts them with a range of assignments that help prepare them for their next role, the remaining 40% aren’t receiving the corporate stretch roles and

breadth of experience necessary to place them in contention for positions of higher responsibility and authority. This leaves women either stagnating in their current roles, feeling passed over, or promoted without sufficient development or support through the transition. None of these situations bodes well for women reaching the C-suite successfully. Modernizing work schedules. While the world has changed dramatically from the years when men worked and women stayed at home to take care of children and domestic duties, work schedules haven’t, to the particular detriment of women with children. As Melinda Gates wrote, “We’re sending our daughters into a workplace designed for our dads.” Confronting bias. Combine a lack of female role models in executive management with the sense of isolation that can come from being the only woman in the room — add in a lack of sponsorship — and you have a recipe for female leaders heading to the exits. Only 36% of women surveyed agree that there’s minimal favoritism within their company. The similarto-me bias, unless addressed head-on within corporate culture, means that many executives will hire and promote candidates with similar interests, backgrounds and experience to them. As institutional investors push for greater diversity on boards and C-suites because of the business case for it, I think that we’ll see more progress. And I do think we’ll reach the tipping point sooner rather than later, where plodding progress becomes a quantum leap.

Sarah Alter is president and CEO of the Network of Executive Women, a learning and leadership community representing 12,400 members in 22 regional groups in the United States and Canada. Learn more at newonline.org.

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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MARKET INSIGHTS

CEO: BMC is poised to transform

David Flitman rallied the troops in Las Vegas during the 2020 BMC National Event.

The International Builders’ Show wasn’t the only big-time residential construction event to swing into Las Vegas in January. The 2020 BMC National Event, a biennial five-day conference hosted by BMC Stock Holdings, led the way Jan. 13-16 at the Rio. The event, themed “Innovation Delivered,” gathered more than 2,000

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attendees, including top builders, contractors, architects and suppliers, to experience the latest trends and ideas moving the industry forward. Through exclusive networking opportunities with BMC sales and management teams, attendees explored cutting-edge design and construction methods enabling homes to be built better, faster, safer and greener than ever before. BMC kickstarted the week by celebrating the company’s performance and outlining its 2020 key initiatives.

TODAY!

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FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

BMC President and CEO Dave Flitman delivered the keynote address along with a confident market outlook. “By focusing on innovation and driving a culture of continuous improvement, BMC is in a prime position to transform the industry,” said Flitman. “We are committed to providing the resources needed to take a rough idea, refine it and turn it into a solution that delivers real value for our customers.” The showroom floor was anchored by the BMC Pop-Up House, a twostory 1,600 sq. ft. structure built in just three days using Ready-Frame, the company’s smart-bundled, compact, pre-cut and labeled framing package. Acting as a mobile version of a BMC Design Center, the home allowed customers to see the company’s framing and custom millwork firsthand and learn about shipping tactics. More than 150 manufacturers and suppliers participated in the trade-show portion of the event, exhibiting their latest products while educating the crowd on the technologies and insights that made them possible. The event was also heavy on philanthropy, as it highlighted the $823,000 raised in 2019 on behalf of LLS, the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to fighting blood cancer through research and support services.

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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS Builders FirstSource announced that CEO Chad Crow will retire this year after 20 years with the company. Crow will leave after assisting the company’s board of directors in hiring his replacement. “The company’s financial and operational performance has been very strong over the past several years, and I am honored to have contributed to that success. Given my love for the company and the strong working relationship with the board and our extraordinary management team, it was a very difficult decision to retire. However, after 20 years of all-consuming effort, I have decided that it’s time for me to spend more time with my family and on other personal interests,” Crow said. Crow joined Builders FirstSource in September 1999. He succeeded Floyd Sherman as CEO in December 2017. Boise Cascade Company announced that Nate Jorgensen will become its new CEO, effective March 6. Jorgensen replaces Tom Corrick who will retire from his roles as CEO and director after nearly 37 years with Boise Cascade. Jorgensen will also fill Corrick’s seat on the board of directors. The company’s new CEO has 33 years of experience in the forest products industry, joining the Boise Cascade engineered wood products (EWP) marketing team in 2015. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2017 to lead the EWP sales and marketing organization, and was named chief operating officer (COO) in January 2019.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. has named Anthony (Tony) Hurst as the new president of Lowe’s Canada. Hurst will report to Lowe’s president and CEO Marvin Ellison and will be based at Lowe’s Canada headquarters in Boucherville, Quebec. The move is pending work authorization which is expected in February. Hurst most recently served as Lowe’s senior vice president of enterprise and strategy transformation, and also held the position of Lowe’s division president for the West region. Tony Cioffi will continue to act as interim president and, after the transition, will resume his previous role as group financial officer and leader of the affiliated dealers, real estate and Dick’s Lumber businesses. 84 Lumber has named Ken Kucera as the pro dealer’s vice president of installed sales and manufacturing. In his new role Kucera will lead 84 Lumber’s strategy and implementation for growing its components manufacturing business across the country. Kucera joined 84 Lumber in 2001 and has played a key role in profitably managing installed sales and the multi-family business units.

Lowe’s Companies named Marisa Thalberg as executive VP, chief brand and marketing officer, In the role, new for Lowe’s, she will oversee all branding and marketing efforts. Most recently, she served as global chief brand officer of Taco Bell, stepping down last August.

HBSDealer.com

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER FEBRUARY 2020

37


Residential Construction/Sales

Monthly Retail Sales, not adjusted

13 months of housing starts and existing-home sales

home centers and pro dealers (NAICS 444) and hardware stores (NAICS 44413)

Total starts

NAICS 444

(in thousands, SAAR) Dec.: 1,608,000

NAICS 44413

(sales in $ billions)

40

1600

(sales in $ billions)

3

1500

33.3

30

30.1

33.3 30.7

30.6

2.32

30.2

1400

2

2.12

2.4 2.19

2.18

2.19

20

1300

1

1200

10 1100

0

1000

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

SEPTEMBER 2018

SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

OCTOBER

0

NOVEMBER

SEPTEMBER 2018

2019

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

2019

SOURCE: MONTHLY RETAIL TRADE REPORT FROM THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU

Single-family starts (in thousands, SAAR) Dec.: 1,055,000 1050

HBSDealer Stock Roundup

1000

the percent-change performance of stocks based on Jan. 30 prices

950

100 BLDR

900

80

850

750

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

ANNUAL CHANGE

800

D

SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

Existing-home sales (in millions, SAAR) Dec.: 5,540,000 5.6

BMC

60 SHW

40

SWK 20

WY 5.4

HD

LOW DJI

TSCO

0

DE

BECN -20 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

5.2

5

MONTHLY CHANGE 4.8

BECN (BEACON); BLDR (BUILDERS FIRSTSOURCE); BMCH (BMC STOCK HOLDINGS); DE (DEERE & CO.);

D J F M A M J J A S O N D

HD (HOME DEPOT); LOW (LOWE’S); SHW (SHERWIN-WILLIAMS); SWK (STANLEY); TSCO (TRACTOR SUPPLY);

SOURCE: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

WY (WEYERHAEUSER); DJIA (DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE)

Consumer Watch Unemployment rate

Consumer confidence

Gas prices

for the entire United States

indexed to a value of 100 in 1985

average price per gallon (regular)

5.0 4.5

100

5.5

$2.50

Current

$2.00 80

6.0

Prior month

120

Prior year

4.0

3.5% 3.5

38

December

6.5 60

131.6

$2.49

January

January 30

140

FEBRUARY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

$1.50

$3.00

SOURCES: LABOR DEPARTMENT, THE CONFERENCE BOARD, AAA

HBSDealer.com


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