Page 1

Vol. 46 No. 4

Now, more than ever...

APRIL 2020

... products to save time, labor and dollars on the job site.

Pete Meichtry Ganahl Lumber California

“Orgill recognizes that no two businesses are alike. They help us tailor our programs and product selection to best serve the needs of our customers.�

A Customized Approach Orgill gives us the tools we need to compete and succeed!

Why We Like Working With Orgill: • Innovative retail programs • Sales representatives who make our business stronger • Dealer Markets that offer an extensive look at the industry

Scan the QR code to find out how Orgill’s offerings help Ganahl Lumber be successful!

1-800-347-2860 ext. 5373 • •


18 14 Independent Profile: A retailer strives for balance between safety and sales.

18 Centuries of experience:

Exploring the lessons of longevity from 100-year-old dealers.

PRODUCTS 24 Innovations in building materials. COVER STORY Labor Savers


22 Now more than ever, job site solutions are worth their

27 Steve Frawley’s lessons from the lot. 28 In Canada, Lowe’s to part with Ace. 30 Menards’ Misadventures in Michigan.

weight in gold. ON THE COVER: LP SmartSide Siding & Trim

FROM THE EDITOR 8 Hardware heroics


Orders of business.

12 News Map 32 Top Women in


Hardware & Building Supply

10 Coronavirus, a sales perspective.

10 A timeline of March milestones. 11 Letters from the front lines. 12 Fastenal’s match made in vending-machine heaven.

33 People in the news 34 Quikrete Industry Dashboard


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, or call 847-564-1468. 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.



YellaWood® brand pressure treated pine is sought after by all the best builders, especially those with leather tails, buck teeth and nature’s highest building standards. Our proven reputation for having high quality products drives demand for the Yella Tag. The five-star service and unrivaled support of the YellaWood® brand puts dealers in position to meet their customer’s specific needs. See how the YellaWood® brand delivers at


YellaWood® brand pressure treated products are treated with preservatives (the “Preservatives”) and preservative methods, and technologies of unrelated third parties. For details regarding the Preservatives, methods, and technologies used by Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated, see or write us at P.O. Box 610, Abbeville, AL 36310. Ask dealer for warranty details. For warranty or for important handling and other information concerning our products including the appropriate Safety Data Sheet (SDS), please visit us at or write us at P.O. Box 610, Abbeville, AL 36310. YellaWood® and the yellow tag are federally registered trademarks of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners and are used with their permission.



Tweet Central

Covering the big disruption continues to set the pace for news and analysis, action and reaction in the face of an historic industry challenge. For unmatched coverage of the of entire spectrum of hardware stores, lumberyards and home centers, sign up for the HBSDealer daily newsletter. It’s free.

Practicing social-distancing at Lowe’s.

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 Monday





Quikrete Industry Dashboard

HBSDealer Poll Question

Stat of the Week

Throwback Thursday

Eye on Retail

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



Expect major benefit

No idea. Too soon to tell


Expect little benefit


To what extent will your business benefit from the CARES Act?

Follow us @HBSDealer


Poll questions and results appear every week at



Expect some benefit Source: HBSDealer Survey



Hardware + Building Supply Dealer An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631 HBSDealer On The Web • HBSDealer Info Services

Hardware heroics Let’s start off with some perspective. “This has been an incredibly stressful time,” said Jared Littman, who is profiled on page 14. “But I’m sure it is nothing compared to those in the medical profession who are treating those that are sick with the disease.” Now let’s look at where we’ve been. For some, it was the cancellation of March Madness that launched the warning flares. For others, it was the postponement of the National Hardware Show — the spiritual center of the hardware industry. For me, I think it became apparent that we were dealing with something unprecedented when the heartbreaking images of overflowing Italian hospitals hit the nightly news. As I type, similar images appear from across the river in New York.

“These acts of safety and service — often at the expense of sales — are nothing short of hardware heroism.” Amid governors’ orders for coronavirus lockdowns, the first order of business for us seemed pretty obvious: stand up for the hardware and building supply industry. Let everyone in earshot understand the importance of these dealers to their communities and their customers.


SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT (HBSDealer, Drug Store News, Chain Store Age) John Kenlon,, 212-756-5238 EDITOR IN CHIEF Ken Clark, 212-756-5139

Ken Clark Editor in Chief

LBM EDITOR Andy Carlo, 845-891-5108 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Ken Ryan, 516-567-3034

Industry groups scrambled — successfully — to promote that message. At, our ridiculously biased poll question asked (“Are hardware stores essential? Yes or Yes?”) broke all inhouse records for poll participation. The overwhelming response: “Yes.” And there was a sense of relief when the Department of Homeland Security weighed in with guidance calling for the continued operation of hardware and building supply dealers. So here’s where we are. We are battling for our businesses, our communities, and increasingly, for the health of our employees. Stops on the in-store safety continuum include social-distancing; wipe downs and hand sanitizers; plastic shields at the checkout; curbside pick-up; reduced hours; 10 at a time; five at a time; and even zero at a time. In Barone Hardware & Auto, owner Dave Barone launched a “go solo” campaign — shop by yourself, no groups, no kids. “As a retailer, this goes against everything I’ve been taught for 44 years,” he told his Facebook audience. “So it’s not something we’re taking lightly.” These acts of safety and service — often at the expense of sales — are nothing short of hardware heroism. Where are we going? We don’t know where this is heading, or even if this column will be obsolete by the time it is published. But it seems like our readers are falling back on every crisis management guru’s top recommendation: Communicate, and control what you can control. That’s our plan, too. Tell us your thoughts at HBSD


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

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



connect with us

Coronavirus, a Sales Perspective Results of a mid-March survey of retailers revealed that about a third of hardware and building supply dealers were seeing a negative impact on sales from the coronavirus outbreak. The majority of respondents were seeing either a significant uptick (21%) or a neutral (33%) impact. A tiny slice (2%) reported “goldmine” conditions. That rosy assessment may fade as more restrictions and reductions appear on the horizon, or as safety issues intervene. But as the nation’s home improvement retailers have been deemed essential all over, the question becomes “what’s selling?” Or in the case of The Home Depot: what’s not for sale. The Atlanta-based company has executed a “Stop-Sale” on all N95 safety masks in stores and and redirected all shipments to be donated to hospitals, healthcare providers and first responders around the country.

Sign of the times: a DIY sanitizing station at The Home Depot in late March.

Back in the aisles, major spring promotions have been eliminated this season to mitigate crowds. Service and installation services have been limited to those that are essential for maintenance and repair needs in impacted markets, the company said. Home Depot’s essentials includes hot water heaters, refrigerators, cleaning supplies, electrical and plumbing repairs, and harsh weather items like

tarps, propane and batteries. In late March, Scotts Miracle-Gro described a surge in sales. In the U.S. consumer segment, demand increased sharply in March, resulting in an increase in consumer purchases approaching 25% for the second quarter. During the month, soil purchases were up nearly 35%. Insect control purchases were up nearly 45%. “However, we have been more focused on understanding the potential challenges that may accompany a dramatic slowing of the economy in the weeks ahead and ensuring we are wellpositioned to manage those issues,” said Randy Colemen, EVP and CFO. On the distribution side, Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op Do it Best Corp. CEO Dan Starr said the company set “new records for product orders” as the outbreak picked up steam in March. Health and virus prevention items that paved the way include cleaning and sanitizing products like disposable

HBSD COVID-19 March Milestones FEB. 25, 2020

INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR POSTPONED The Cologne, Germany event, also known as Eisenwarenmesse, is pushed to Feb. 21-24, 2021.


MAR. 3, 2020

FED SLASHES INTEREST RATES The Federal Reserve Board decreases its target interest rate .05%, the first of multiple cuts aimed to jolt the economy.

MAR. 11, 2020

W.H.O. DECLARES PANDEMIC The rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak is officially labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization.


EUROPE-TO-U.S. TRAVEL BANNED Sweeping travel restrictions announced by President Trump in a bid to combat virus spread.

MAR. 13, 2020

NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW POSTPONED Originally scheduled for May 5-7, Reed Exhibitions announces the event will be rescheduled. New date: Sept. 1-3, 2020.

MAR. 18, 2020

HOME DEPOT REDUCES HOURS All stores to close at 6 p.m. Retailer also increases employee paid time off.

TIMELINE FROM LEFT: Koelnmesse; The Federal Reserve; Getty Images; Getty Images; National Hardware Show; The Home Depot; The White House; Ikea; State of New York; Department of Homeland Security;


Voices from the front lines In a fast-changing outbreak environment, balancing service to community with safety to the frontline employee is a rising challenge for hardware and building supply dealers. Here are a few voices from the frontlines that first appeared in the Comments section of McDaniel’s Do it Center in Snohomish, Wash.

gloves, wipes, disinfectants, bleach, masks, respirators, safety glasses/goggles, PPE, painters’ coveralls and soap. There was also surge in shelter in place items including paint, kitchen products, gas cans, air and water filtration, and items for family craft projects, like sidewalk chalk. In Snohomish, Wash., McDaniel’s Do it Center owner Brad McDaniel said the retailer has “sold more cleaning supplies than ever thought possible.” The single-unit hardware store also found early success as a community source for digital oral thermometers. “Most customers are super happy that we are open,” McDaniel told HBSDealer. Striking a more ominous note was an early April update from iconic hand tool giant Stanley

MAR. 18, 2020

TRUMP SIGNS ECONOMIC RELIEF BILL The measure ensures free COVID-19 testing and bolsters unemployment insurance.

Black & Decker. CEO James M. Loree described the coronavirus as “one of the most challenging crises our world has ever experienced.” The response included cutbacks in spending and staffing. And while Stanley Black & Decker expects COVID-19 driven demand disruptions will negatively impact results in 2020, the company made clear its number one priority: “First, and most importantly, ensuring the health and safety of our employees and supply chain partners.” Stanley’s CFO Donald Allen Jr. could have been speaking for a lot of companies when he added a forward-looking statement: “We are confident that once through this event we will be in a position to capitalize on a recovery,” he said.

MAR. 19, 2020

IKEA SHUTS U.S. STORES The furniture and home good retailer says it will continue to offer online shopping, home delivery.

STATES OF EMERGENCY Nearly all U.S. states have declared a state of emergency, allowing them to activate emergency response plans.

Replying to Tractor Supply says remaining open is essential. “We love our jobs at Tractor Supply Co. and we especially love our farmers, HOWEVER, something MUST be done about these walk-ins who come in with their entire families just for socialization and maybe some Birdseed. It is of our opinion that the residents here are not taking Covid19 seriously enough. No matter the precautions taken, we cannot stop the kids from licking the carts and coughing throughout the store. —“S.D.” Reply to NRF asks Trump for ‘essential’ guidance. As someone on the front lines, essential items are 1) Items necessary for survival of yourself or those you are taking care of while you shelter in place, and DO NOTHING that will get you injured. 2) Worth possibly causing the death of another person to obtain? In our industry specifically, [“essential” means] things to keep your roof from failing, your house from collapsing, your electricity and water running, your ability to cook food for yourself, sanitizing chemicals, power strips, power generation, and medical supplies. We are fighting a war for survival and do not have room for DIY projects involving glitter glue. — “K.Aguilar” Reply to Harbor Freight responds to virus. “The squares and the 7-ft. line gaps don’t stop the customer from being 6 feet from you. The register bays are so small that you’re on top of the other employee.” — “E.Hill”

MAR. 20, 2020

BUILDING SUPPLY DEALERS ‘ESSENTIAL’ The Department of Homeland Security designates building supply dealers essential businesses.

MAR. 22, 2020

IN-STORE SHOPPING LIMITS JBK Ace Hardware of Chestertown, Md., becomes an early adopter of a 10-customers-at-atime shopping policy.

MAR. 27, 2020

CARES ACT BECOMES LAW A releif plan totaling more than $2 tillion includes provisions for $301 billion in household payments and $349 billion in small business loans.




Fastenal acquires vending partner’s assets It was a match made in distribution heaven. Fastenal and Apex Industrial Technologies have worked together since 2008 to develop a vending delivery platform solution in the industrial and commercial marketplace. In late March, Fastenal acquired assets of Apex. According to Fastenal, Apex created and developed the software, designed the equipment, and built the vending equipment supply chain. Fastenal said its contribution to the project is its expertise and bringing the platform to market. Since the collaboration, more than 105,000 devices have been placed in the market across 23 device types in 25 countries. Fastenal said the vending machines generated more than $1.1 billion in sales in 2019. The transaction includes use of key patents, designs, software, and licenses along with direct access to the supply

chain, Fastenal said in its filing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Fastenal’s founder, Bob Kierlin,

conceived of industrial vending at the company’s inception in 1967,” Fastenal President and CEO Dan Florness said. “Our relationship with Apex in 2008 helped to make the industrial vending solution scalable. This transaction allows both organizations to move forward with their unique strategic plans while still providing an avenue for additional collaboration.” Apex’s Founder and CEO, Kent Savage, said, “Our collaboration with Fastenal has created a world-wide best practice for distributing MRO materials. Fastenal’s adoption and deployment of automated dispensing technology combined with its singular fulfillment capabilities deliver tremendous efficiencies, productivity, and costsavings to its customers every day.” Based in Winona, Minn., Fastenal posted net sales of $5.33 billion in 2019.

News Map: Essential retailing edition Around the country, operational responses to the Coronavirus outbreak vary from market to market, and sometimes from day to day. Here are a variety of tactics to keep stores operating through lockdown conditions. ohio

Mount Orab

Kibler Lumber In addition to social distancing and aggressive sanitizing practices, Kibler Lumber installed plexiglass shields for added virus protection at the check-out counters. The shields are also up at Kibler’s Maysville, Ky., location.



Barone Hardware & Auto instituted a “Go Solo” policy. No groups. No children. individuals only. “As a retailer, this goes against everything I’ve been taught for 44 years,” said owner Dave Barone on social media. “So it’s not something we’re taking lightly.” south carolina



Guthrie’s Ace Hardware in Goodlettsville, Tenn., passed it forward to area restaurants with an “eat local, save local” promotion. Customers with a recent receipt received 10% off their hardware store purchase.




East Bay Hardware Limited the number of customers in the store to six at any one time. A Twitter post explains Pratt, the store cat, practices social distancing by remaining in his box.

A full line of exterior wood coatings to preserve and protect both siding and decking. ZAR® Deck and Siding products have you covered through the entire life cycle of the wood. ZAR® a leader in the Wood Coatings Market, bringing customers the best quality products.

ZAR® Semi-Transparent Deck & Siding Stain Classic Oil Finish ZAR® Semi-Transparent Deck and Siding Stain is a unique blend of drying and non-drying oils. The drying oil is an oil that hardens to a tough finish, after exposure to air. The non-drying oil penetrates to rejuvenate weathered wood. • Foolproof versatile product • Extended high temp application (40° F to 90° F) • Rich translucent color (s) • Moisture & UV protection • Resists color fading • Mold, mildew, and algae prevention <100 g/L VOC For more information or a FREE product demo, contact your UGL sales representative 1-800-845-5227 • visit


K&B True Value strives for balance between safety and sales.


hroughout his career as a retailer Jared Littmann has embraced leadership roles. Both as a former alderman in his hometown of Annapolis, Md., and as a board member of True Value Corp. since 2013. Littmann, the owner of K&B True Value, now finds himself in a position to lead a team of hardware store employees while serving a community and fighting the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. His latest approach — keep the store open, but

keep customers out of the store. “This has been an incredibly stressful time,” he told HBSDealer via e-mail. “But I’m sure it is nothing compared to those in the medical profession who are treating those that are sick with the disease.” In Maryland, companies that sell supplies and materials for maintenance of commercial and residential buildings, including ‘big box; home improvement supply stores, plumbing distributors, electrical distributors, and HVAC distributors are allowed to operate by order of the governor. Bowing to safety, K&B True Value originally chose to limit the store to 20 “guests” at a time as the outbreak surged. A few days later, on March 24, the store took social distancing to the next level — no customers in the store.

Jared Littmann, above, set up a curbside-anddelivery only system at K&B True Value in Annapolis, Md.


“We are taking phone, email, and website orders, and we are bringing products to customers in our parking lot or to their home if they are in five driving miles of the store,” he said. “I have a person at


our store entrance beyond two large tables (to create 6’ separation) who is taking down customers’ names and phone numbers. Other staff in the store picked up those forms, collected the items for the customer, called for their credit card number, and ran the bags out to their car.” The store’s Facebook page explains the policy in detail, ending with: “Together, we will get through this! Thank you for your patience as we work on implementing these new systems successfully.” The store continues to receive regular deliveries from True Value. (Littmann said he appreciates that the distributor has set quantity maximums on highdemand products so that all stores have equal access.) Customers also continue to be interested in paint and garden products for projects around the house during social distancing. Meanwhile, the staff is very concerned about contracting the virus, he said, and many are choosing to stay home through the crisis. More would stay home if customers kept coming into the store, he added. After above-average sales in previous weeks, sales dropped sharply in the absence of foot traffic in the store. “While that is not ideal, it seems to strike a balance between protecting our employees, earning enough revenue to keep employees paid, and to provide the essential goods that our customer base needs and expects,” he said. Littmann is the chairman of the Board of Directors of the True Value Cooperative Company, which has 30% ownership of the True Value Company created in April 2018, when the co-op converted to a private company.

THE QUIKRETE is making an impression on your customers long before they ever step foot in your store. With an unparalleled mix of marketing and merchandising tools, QUIKRETE is connecting with your customers in a meaningful way throughout the project planning and buying process. To learn how QUIKRETE supports your business, visit

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


Centuries of Experience

The highly effective habits of time-tested hardware and building supply dealers.


he most obvious first question directed by editors at representatives of companies that have survived for a century or more — through depressions, through world wars and, significantly, through stagflation and interest rates in the high teens — is very simple. How did you do it? The answers, usually, aren’t that complicated either. They reveal an ability and willingness to adapt, a focus on customer service, and an obsession with delivering a quality product. It’s usually those three pillars of success topped with good decision making and good fortune that leads companies into the ranks of the century club. And there is a feeling among these hundred-yearold-plus companies that the coronavirus outbreak will soon be another in a long list of challenges that have been overcome. Jack Pitts, the owner of Vail Lumber Co., recently displayed a banner celebrating “Our 100th Year” at his Scottsburg, Ind., lumberyard. He modestly described “flying under the radar,” as a path to longevity, but there have been many acts of business acumen. For instance, it was discipline during those high interest-rate years that proved pivotal for Vail Lumber. “I remember in 1978 or 1979 and I happened to be in Florida at the time,” he recalls. “I called the office and said, ‘Don’t sell to any speculative builders.’ That kind of saved our bacon.” Another flourish from the 84-year-old Pitts involved the science of human resources and a little bit of southern Indiana folk wisdom: “I have three daughters,” he said. “I told them, they better be smart about who they marry, because I’m not hiring your husbands. Working for relatives can be a hard task.” Massachusetts-based Aubuchon


Clockwise from top left: Higginbotham Brothers has served Texas since 1880; Vail Lumber Co. of southern Indiana is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020; Katz Ace Hardware applies the charm in Connecticut.

Hardware describes itself as the oldest family owned and managed chain of hardware stores in America. It’s also one of the largest hardware store chains, with 105 stores. “Treat your local community like family and you will build customer relationships that will last a lifetime,” the company says on its web site. The 112-year-old retailer points to a history of customer service that includes an unusual tactic. The stores were not listed in the phone book until 1992. The reason: Phones were removed from stores in 1934, so customers in the store would receive uninterrupted attention. Katz Ace Hardware in Gastonbury, Conn., and Delta Lumber of Whiteford,


Md., are two very different businesses. But they are both members of the exclusive century club, and they are both textbook examples of companies that have evolved significantly to serve their communities. In the case of Delta Lumber, the story began in Delta, Pa., as Delta Lumber and Coal. In 1981 the company moved to its current location in Maryland, and according to owner David Galbreath, Delta moved heavily into new home construction during the 80s and 90s. One of the nation’s first Do it Centers, the retail business has taken off since. “Our history is very important to us,” Galbreath told HBSDealer. “And one of our walls in the front of our store displays

The Strongest Grip in Residential Roofing. Premium Shingle Self-Adhering Roofing Underlayment WIP GRIP is a 55-mil flexible rubberized asphalt, fiberglassreinforced membrane used as a shingle underlayment on critical roof areas such as eaves, ridges, valleys, dormers and skylights. WIP GRIP underlayment protects roofing structures and interior spaces from water penetration caused by wind-driven rain and ice dams and may also be used as covering for the entire roof to prevent moisture or water entry.

Features and Benefits (includes all of the features & benefits of WIP 100, plus): •

Superior slip-resistance on wet and dry applications for safe and easy installation

No more tracking

Adds strength in vulnerable areas, including penetrations, valleys, and over plywood clips

At the time of eventual re-roof, the proprietary film surface helps to prevent the embedding of shingles to underlayment, providing for easier tear-off

WIP GRIP Technology

888.717.1440 •

Carlisle and WIP are trademarks of Carlisle. © 2020 Carlisle.

DEALER STRATEGIES old-time photos from the WWII era.” At Katz Ace, the business model over the years has included pharmacy, grocery, soda fountain and even a gas pump. Today, the business falls in the upscale-hardware-and-general-store category. It’s so charming, in fact, that a children’s book called “Everything from a Nail to a Coffin,” was published in 1991, celebrating the store’s history. “We’re very proud of our past, and we try to honor it,” said Shannon Krieger. “We’re also trying to stay current and trendy. In retail today, with everything online, we have to stand apart.” And there’s another secret to longevity, she says. “We really try to make it fun.” In Texas, one of the historic names of retailing — or any business — is Higginbotham Brothers. Many of the company’s 40 stores (with two in

Oklahoma) are the oldest businesses in town, says Chief Operating Officer Corby Biddle. And some of the stores operate out of historic buildings. The message of “we’ll be here tomorrow” and the roots that date back to 1880 resonate with customers, vendors and even to potential job recruits, he said. One special key to success, he said is a decentralized approach to retail. “We give our manager the tools and resources they need to operate,” Biddle told HBSDealer. “We don’t micromanage them. We allow them to bring in products and services that their markets need. Because every market is a little bit different.” Every challenge that the company faced since 1880 is a little bit different, too. And in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, the store implemented

AMES looks back, and looks ahead

These Gold Rush 49ers were among the history-making users of AMES Companies products.

American manufacturer offers a 246-year perspective. The AMES Companies has dug itself into a position of authority when it comes to perspective on historic events. The manufacturer’s products have been working to shape the country since Captain John Ames produced the first shovel in America. That was in 1774 before the “United States” was even on the map. When asked to describe how AMES achieved its longevity, Karen Richwine, the company’s director of marketing operations and enthusiast of its history, echoed some of the same qualities described by hardware and building supply dealers on thriving and surviving. Customer service. Check. Ability to adapt.


best-practice virus-mitigation inside its stores, along with generous employeetime-off policies. “We will survive it,” he said. “And hopefully we’ll all come out better for it and better prepared with another lesson learned.” Back in Indiana, Jack Pitts reflected on the current state of socialdistancing, aggressive safety measures and the quiet that has settled on the community. He sees a similarity between today’s pandemic and another historical event that he remembers vividly from his childhood – the attack on Pearl Harbor, after which “everything kind of came to a stand still,” he said. The business survived the disruption of a world war, and he has no doubts about surving the latest national test. “Oh, yes, we will.”

Check. Quality of offering. Check. And she added a special hard-to-define ingredient. “We continue that American spirit,” she said. “I don’t know how else to put it. Dedication. Drive. There’s something about it.” Also like many dealers with historic paintings in the office and multiple generations of owners who have navigated through challenges large and small, AMES feels an advantage in being able to point to that history, and the track record of getting things done. “I think anytime you can talk to your customers about how long you’ve been in business and how you’ve built trust over the years of and have been there for


America — I think that builds trust,” Richwine said. “And we certainly have.” A walk through the company’s museum at its Pennsylvania location delivers on some of the country’s historical highlights where Ames products played a role. Disruptive events begin with the American Revolution, the Gold Rush, the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 and two world wars to name just some of the historical events AMES products were involved in. Today, as the country is gripped by an invisible enemy in the form of the coronavirus outbreak and by the unprecedented challenge of lockdowns and social-distancing, Richwine and AMES are leaning on their history. “Collectively we’ve seen and experienced much, and will get through this too,” she said. “And if history repeats itself, we will all grow stronger together from it.”

Charlotte Pipe. The brand customers ask for by name.

We’re the most trusted name in ABS, CPVC CTS, PVC, Pressure and Drainage pipe and fittings. Customers love us and buyers do, too. Why? We have seven distribution locations across the U.S. and world-class customer service. Known for great fill rates, on-time delivery, planogram signage and more. It’s a part of a system you’ve come to trust, and it can’t be beat.


Job site solutions Despite a crisis, construction moves ahead along with the need for labor savings. By Andy Carlo


s job sites embrace social distancing in the age of the coronavirus, laborsaving products are as important as ever. And the numbers indicate that demand for these kinds of products will continue on the other side of the outbreak. A labor shortage continued to impact regions of the country before the spread of


COVID-19. And in most of the country, residential construction has continued to move forward. While the future isn’t crystal given the crisis, National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz says there will be plenty of opportunities for employment in construction. “I know that this is a moment to recruit people into the construction sector, given that activity will grow and we had a labor shortage as we entered


2020,” Dietz told HBSDealer. At the start of this year, the estimated number of job openings declined from 299,000 in January 2019 to 274,000 in January 2020, after reaching a postGreat Recession high of 430,000 in April of last year. Employment in construction was at a near-sizzle pace in February. Residential construction employment increased by 21,900 in February, after a revised increase of 22,400 in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total construction industry employment (both residential and nonresidential) totaled about 7.6 million in February – an increase of 42,000 as the industry’s unemployment rate held at 4%. Lumber and building material dealers have transitioned to curbside pick-up while emphasizing call-ahead and online ordering during the pandemic. They remain open, and they continue to sell materials. But in the field new practices are being put into place, including keeping your distance from co-workers. Fewer are having to do more. Ralph Bruno, CEO of Derby Building Products, says his company’s line of Tando exterior cladding products are a strong solution to the labor shortage with one-person installation and lightweight panels. “One-person installation also provides physical distancing required on today’s job sites due to COVID-19,” Bruno says. Last year, LP began its transformation from LP Building Products to LP Building Solutions to reflect its goal of being the industry’s leading building solutions company. The Nashville, Tenn.-based company says its solutions-oriented commitment is reflected in its product designs and training. For example, LP SmartSide ExpertFinish Trim & Siding is a new prefinished option that features LP’s proprietary ExpertFinish Lap. The product eliminates several steps in the building process, including the need for most seam caulking, joint molds or pan

C O V E R F E AT U R E flashing at butt joints. The end result is an easier job site installation and, in turn, potential labor savings. MiTek Services Division supports a company’s growth, efficiency, and profitability with technical solutions for the construction industry. The fastener and building solutions provider says it connects businesses with its services team of more than 1,200 engineers, estimators, designers and more who become dedicated resources for the customer. These resources serve as an extension of a dealer’s team – providing them with 2D and 3D drafting, estimating, and rendering capabilities. MiTek says this is an ideal solution for customers who experience resource scarcity. A lumber yard, for instance, depends on accuracy and speed to address customer needs. Accurate take-offs and bill of materials, as well as job quote turnaround times, can all contribute to time and money saved on a project. “By using MiTek’s tools, an estimator can model a virtual building as it should be framed,” said MiTek Customer Development Manager Neil Faulkner. “This model leads to improved accuracy but is also the framework to create quotes in other areas beyond rough framing – from siding to shingles, to insulation, to interior trim. Items affected by the size and shape of a building can be quoted while the estimate is being created.” ZIP System Building Enclosures, from Huber Engineered Woods, was created

with the intention of streamlining control barrier needs in roof and wall applications. Reducing material needs and installation steps can positively impact both timelines and bottom lines for construction teams, especially in larger multifamily projects. Introduced in 2006 as the first integrated structural sheathing panel to incorporate a weather-resistive barrier manufactured onto the panel, ZIP System sheathing was a game-changer as an alternative to traditional sheathing and housewrap or underlayment. “ZIP System building enclosures are designed to meet a need for greater installation efficiency,” says Jason Darling, general manager of ZIP System Products. “Our products are engineered to provide multi-functional benefits in structural assemblies. We maintain a rigorous R&D process at Huber with layers of input from building science, engineering and on-the-job research that helps us keep up with needs, like job site time efficiency, as fuel for our product development process. “We are continuing to hear about labor issues and labor shortages throughout the building community, so we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can the make it easier for building teams to do what they do best,” Darling added. Along these lines, HBSDealer has rounded-up some of the latest innovations in the building materials industry. Here is a collection of products, tools and solutions that cut down on labor, material, time and cost:

LP SmartSide Trim & Siding LP SmartSide Trim & Siding, a durable siding solution made from engineered wood technology, features lighter weights and longer lengths to allow for faster installation. To examine productivity differences between the installation of LP SmartSide siding compared to competitive siding products, LP Building Solutions worked with an independent third party to conduct a time and motion study. Professional installers with varying levels of experience worked together to install each product against the clock, on a layout and specifications typical for a modest two-story house. SmartSide Lap Siding proved to install up to 22% faster than fiber cement lap, according to LP. The study also showcased easier installation with LP SmartSide siding in 16-foot lengths. This length not only provided 33% more siding than the typical 12-foot siding from competitors, but it was also just as easily passed up a story from one installer to another.

Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Wall The Strong-Wall site-built portal frame system (PFS) from Simpson Strong-Tie provides designers, engineers, and builders with an easy way to meet codedefined wood wall-bracing requirements when building narrow wall widths. Simple and quick to install, the PFS provides builders with a cost-effective alternative to International Residential Code braced-wall solutions. Available in single-wall and double-wall portal frame kits, the PFS includes hold-down assemblies, standoff and adjustable post bases, multi-ply screws, connector screws, a 6-lobe T40 driver bit, and complete installation instructions. Contractors simply add lumber and assemble.



Beach House Shake Beach House Shake, with the look of authentic cedar shingles, is designed for easy installation. The panelized shake is lightweight and can be installed using just a hammer or nail gun. And one-person installation allows a contractor to beautify a home quickly, allowing homeowners to enjoy the exterior in far less time—and less hassle — than natural cedar shingles. Beach House Shake is also a high-performance product with colors resembling fresh white cedar, stained redwood and various shades of weathered gray. The product remains looking like the day it was installed without upkeep. It won’t rot or decay, and is impervious to moisture with Miami-Dade approval for wind resistance in high-velocity hurricane zones.

CAMO Lever CAMO from National Nail has been laserfocused on the labor shortage creating innovative products contractors need to build better decks in less time. The latest innovation from CAMO— the CAMO Lever —not only speeds up decking installations but also reduces the labor contractors need to build a better deck. Lever is the only tool required that easily bends, straightens and aligns deck boards, locking them in place in one turn with no strain, no hassle. When combined with CAMO Edge Clips, Lever speeds up grooved decking installations by locking multiple rows of boards and clips in place for quick fastening. The compact Lever is also strong enough to straighten any warped board. Short on crew members? Not a problem. Lever eliminates the need to have someone holding boards, or a tool, in place. Lay your boards down, lock them in place with Lever and you are free to fasten.

Crescent Pipe Wrenches Crescent Tools has developed innovations to its new line of pipe wrenches, which are carefully designed to work in the real world that plumbers and pipe fitters live in. Crescent’s K9 Angle-Access Jaws bite in an arc of 30 degrees—much greater than typical pipe wrench operation limits—for best-in-class access in tight spaces, the company says. Ideal for professionals in the plumbing, pipe fitter, oil and gas, fire and sprinkler, and MRO industries, the new line boasts 11 products available in both cast iron and aluminum (40% lighter to reduce user fatigue). The high-speed adjustment makes resizing quick and easy, while the steel self-adjusting pipe wrenches feature a ratcheting head for one-handed use.

TandoStone Composite Stone The TandoStone line of composite stone exterior products are promoted as a solution to the labor shortage and job site costs. Preferred by siding installers, TandoStone features realistic design, easy installation, moisture resistance, and expansive color options. TandoStone panels are lightweight allowing for easy, one-person installation. The line was recently expanded with the addition of Nordic Mist, part of the Tando Creek Ledgestone Collection, and Glacier Bay under the brand’s Stacked Stone line. Creek Ledgestone emulates the rugged look of hand-picked stone with distinct grout lines, while Stacked Stone features a dry stack profile without grout lines between the stones. Royal Building Products Celect Siding Royal Building Products has added 5” Smooth Clapboard in its lineup of Celect Cellular Composite Siding and Canvas Unpainted Siding. The new siding products feature a smooth brushed finish and the same low-maintenance benefits as traditional Celect products. Available in 15 fade-resistant colors and featuring a patented interlocking seam design, the product keeps moisture out and almost completely eliminates seams. In addition to delivering a smooth exterior aesthetic with distinct shadow lines, all the Celect Smooth products provide labor-saving benefits for the builder, protection and insulation from the elements and reduced maintenance requirements for homeowners.



C O V E R F E AT U R E Zip System Liquid Flash ZIP System Liquid Flash from Huber Engineered Woods is a liquid-applied flashing membrane made of STPE (silyl-terminated-polyether) technology. This high-performance formulation combines the durability of silicones with the toughness of urethanes. Teams and projects with increased energy savings performance in mind have been using ZIP System Liquid Flash not only as a flashing membrane around hard-to-flash windows and penetrations but also in seams and transition areas. The moisture-curing product offers broad application flexibility and provides a continuous air-and-water barrier that some teams are saying gives them even more added confidence of air-and-water tightness. ZIP System Liquid Flash can also be applied to wet surfaces, allowing project teams to keep projects moving even during adverse weather conditions. Fortress Evolution deck frame system Fortress Building Products’ Evolution steel deck framing is promoted as a smarter system designed by deck builders for deck builders. The steel solution is noncombustible, fire-resistant and doesn’t rot, warp or split. And, gone are the days of having to soak deck boards with insecticide and fungicide. Evolution features an interlocking joist and ledger system for sturdy, safe decks that are easy to install. The steel deck framing products consist of steel joists that hold their shape for a deck that will stay flat throughout its lifetime. An engineered interlocking design includes a Ledger Bracket that eliminates the need for excessive fasteners and drastically speeds up installation. The system is available with pre-punched, standard spacing options that further simplify deck construction.




Performance, Not Products What a former corner-office-CEO-turned-buildinglot-gofer learned about growth in the Pro business. By Steve Frawley

“People don’t want quarter inch drills, they want quarter inch holes.” —Theodore Levitt, American Economist and Harvard Business School professor


n April 2018, the author moved from an executive role at EmeryWaterhouse and Ace Wholesale to a project support role—a nicer way of saying gofer—at Frawley Construction, a company building spec houses and remodeling in the Greater Portland area of Maine. At the outset of his new role, the author noted the local building market is strong, the on-site team is highly competent, and the company uses brand name, high quality products and local LBM suppliers whenever possible. However, he also realized Frawley Construction could be growing at a faster rate if productivity weren’t regularly hindered by an industry-wide shortage of skilled labor and supply chain inconsistencies. Frawley Construction is not alone: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 434,000 vacant construction jobs as of April 2019. Many attribute the nearly 6% construction cost increase in 2018 to the labor shortage. With less than a week under his belt on the construction jobsite, the author had experienced these challenges firsthand. He delved deeper into the causes of builder frustration, looking for solutions. Addressing the labor shortage will require an industry-wide

commitment to recruitment, training, and retention. By focusing on outcomes instead of products, hardware and building manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers can immediately lessen the impact of the labor deficit and increase jobsite productivity, especially for small builders, while differentiating and growing in the pro market.

Frawley’s Lessons from the Lot 1. Call out labor-saving products in the Pro channel When a new labor-saving product becomes available, retailers should aggressively merchandise and be knowledgeable about the tool. Time crunched builders usually opt for what they’re used to instead of trying a new product. Simple point-ofpurchase signage, convenient product placement, and retail-employee training can encourage sales. Retailers have an opportunity to own this important function of educating builders on new products, ideally with significant support from manufacturers and distributors. 2. Sell performance and process At Frawley Construction’s last jobsite, the framing crew set up a mini factory to efficiently trim out windows. Three separate tools were being used in the right order, with the right work platforms. Retailers need to ask themselves: are we

selling processes or just tools? Whether or not manufacturers and wholesalers are bundling tool packages, stores can take the lead by selling solutions, not individual products. Sharing these best practices means everyone wins. Tradespeople are more efficient on the job, retailers enjoy larger margins, and the focus shifts to value, not the price of commodities. 3. Manage customer frustration and relationships Most builders prefer buying from a primary local supplier, not an online vendor. When considering inventory, retailers should stock products in job lot quantities in matching designs and finishes. Locksets, builder hardware, and kitchen and bath accessories are difficult to source, including at the big box stores. Every time a builder has to go outside their primary channel to track down an item, it adds complexity, frustration, and cost. These products should be a sweet spot for LBM retailers. When you have the right tools for the job, you increase immediate and future revenue. Satisfied customers will return. After experiencing the impact of labor shortages and supply chain interruptions firsthand on a jobsite, it’s clear that there is significant opportunity to accelerate growth and improve the performance of our channels through manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers.

Editor’s note: Post-outbreak update from the author: “Since this article was written, our focus has pivoted to the health and safety of our people. However, there will come a time when fear and lockdowns give way to growth and construction. It is hoped that this article sparks some ideas for you to consider as our industry situation continues to evolve.” — S.F.

The author is founder of Portland, Me.-based Frawley Sales and Strategy. Reach out to Steve through Linkedin at




In Canada, Lowe’s to part with Ace One of North America’s most complicated retail relationships is coming to an end. Lowe’s and Ace, two fierce home improvement competitors in the United States, are parting ways in Canada, where they have played on the same team since the Lowe’s acquisition of RONA in 2016. In a deal announced in early March, Peavey Industries, Canada’s largest farm, ranch and hardware retailer with 92 stores across the country, will acquire the Ace Canada business from RONA. Financial terms of the deal were not released. The agreement affects 104 independent Ace Hardware stores in Canada, and calls for a 6- month transition period during which Peavey Industries will gradually assume

Peavey Mart operates in Western Canada.

responsibility for the supply of the 104 stores, the Ace Canada retail operating systems, and the Ace Canada website. Lowe’s Canada will continue to act as a wholesaler of lumber and building materials for Peavey Industries’ independent dealers after the transition period. “This transaction is in line with our

plan that was announced last November to simplify our multiple store banners in order to drive efficiency and reduce operational complexity,” said Tony Cioffi, executive VP of finance (GFO), Affiliate Dealers, Dick’s and Real Estate of Lowe’s Canada. The business transferred to Peavey represents less than 10% of the total sales volume of Lowe’s Canada’s affiliated dealer division, he said. “While it will allow Lowe’s Canada to focus its energy exclusively on the RONA banner for its affiliated dealer network, Ace affiliated dealers across the country will find in Peavey Industries a partner whose value proposition is better adapted to their operating reality and customers’ needs.” “We understand Canadian communities

Imperial Blades is dedicated to providing quality solutions for every oscillating multi-tool user. With tool fitment compatibility for every brand, our innovative blades power through the widest range of applications whether it’s on the jobsite or at home.



Window of opportunity for Zuern

and we are looking forward to building even stronger community relationships, strengthening our bond with our loyal customers,” mentioned Doug Anderson, President and CEO of Peavey Industries LP. The company’s Canadian retail banners include Peavey Mart, MainStreet Hardware, and TSC. “Ace Canada is a natural extension to Peavey Industries for a number of reasons,” Anderson said. “We relate strongly to their dedication to ‘local and loyal,’ we appreciate their commitment to providing value to customers, and we mirror their devotion to excellence in customer service.” Ace Hardware International also expressed excitement about the deal in a prepared statement. Jay Heubner, President and General Manager of Ace Hardware International, said: “We are thrilled to team up with Peavey Industries, an organization that shares our values and has a strong commitment to service and community. We’re confident Peavey Industries will provide the independent Ace retailers the best service and support to help them succeed and ensure the continued growth of the Ace Hardware brand in Canada.” Before it was acquired by Lowe’s, RONA in 2014 signed a long-term deal with Ace Hardware International for master licensing of the Ace brand in Canada. Untitled-1 1

Allenton, Wis.-based Zuern Building Products & Design Center, the state’s largest Marvin dealer, acquired Window Design Center. The move expands the business into Madison and Delafield, adding to its four existing locations. “Delafield is a well-established market for Zuern and there has been a desire from our team and customers to have a showroom in the Lake Country area,” Jennifer Zuern, owner of Zuern Building Products. “This, along with the knowledgeable & passionate team at Window Design Center will bring added service and experience to our Zuern team and customers.” For over 55 years Zuern has been a Marvin dealer, which has led them to becoming the largest Marvin dealer in Wisconsin. Each Zuern location — including Allenton, Cedarburg, Franklin, and Watertown — also features a showroom. Zuern said the addition of Window Design Center will “elevate their Marvin presence and create a dynamic buyer experience.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Zuern also announced Jeff Van De Hey as the leader of Window Design Center from Zuern. Van De Hey has over 25 years of window experience, 20 of which have been with Marvin. “You will see updates in both the Madison and Delafield showrooms, state of the art warehousing, additional inside and outside field service support, and an increased focus on continuing education to name just a few.” Van De Hey said.



4/20/2017 9:56:39 AM


Menards’ misadventures in Michigan By Andy Carlo After being accused of price gouging cleaning products and safety masks during the widening of the coronavirus pandemic, Menards has received another warning from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Last month the attorney general sent Menards a cease and desist order, which alleged that the big box home improvement retailer was doubling the price on some products. The accusation was based on numerous customer complaints and in-store observations made by the attorney general’s office. Menards has since issued an apology for its pricing. But now the company is under fire from Nessel for enticing customers to shop for non-essential items during the coronavirus pandemic. On March 31, the Michigan Department of Attorney General sent a letter to Menards following reports that the company’s stores have been engaging in business practices which might endanger the health of customers and employees during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, including marketing and sales practices designed to increase customer presence in Menards stores. The letter instructs Menards to cease any and all activities that run contrary to the spirit and intent of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order. The Stay Home, Stay Safe order requires businesses to temporarily limit or suspend on-site operations to only those necessary to sustain or protect life. Nessel said she is taking the matter seriously and issued a video regarding essential retail. According to the attorney general, her office has received complaints about consumers casually browsing


Menards Bloomfield Twp., Michigan

stores and not taking the current situation seriously. “Just because one of these businesses can still be open to the public, it’s not just business as usual,” Nessel said, while urging state residents to only shop for essential items — such as safety and cleaning product — but not linger in stores. In a separate statement, Nessel also said, “The current climate should not be viewed through the lens of business opportunism where dollars drive decisions over the good of the public’s health.” Nessel’s office said willful violations of the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can result in a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each offense. Violations should be reported to law enforcement agencies overseeing the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred.

“The current climate should not be viewed through the lens of business opportunism where dollars drive decisions over the good of the public’s health.” —Dana Nessel, Attorney General, Mich.


“We have asked that Menards cease any and all practices that run contrary to the spirit and intent of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order, including marketing sales to draw large numbers of the general public into their stores for nonemergency purposes.” Regarding the previous cease and desist letter, Menards responded with spokesman Jeff Abbott telling the Detroit Free Press (DFP) that it has been “a very chaotic time,” but the retailer believed its pricing strategy was “reasonable.” The company has since apologized for the matter. In an email to the DFP, Abbott said, “We are all working under a great deal of anxiety and stress and believe that in normal times this most likely would have never happened.” “We are very sorry for this mistake,” he added, noting that the retailer will offer a higher rebate to customers who bought the overpriced masks. Menards could not be reached for contact regarding the latest cease and desist letter. Based in Eau Claire, Wis., Menards operates more than 300 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Join us in Chicago Nov. 4-5, for the Top Women in Hardware and Building Supply Awards Gala! Learn more at

Equal pay for equal work The old refrain still has relevance today.

of pay from workers can reduce or eliminate the gender pay gap within organizations. If you can make it happen, an open-salary policy could be a game changer for your organization — and for pay equity in general. By Sarah Alter

“Equal pay for equal work” — the constant refrain of working women from the early 19th century. This powerful motto speaks to the simple fact that no one should be paid less for their work on the basis of gender. Yet, almost 60 years after the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women in the United States still make just 82 cents for each dollar made by their male counterparts. Why are women still making less than men? According to the World Economic Forum, there is no simple answer. One major contributing factor, however, is that occupations dominated by women tend to pay less. “Around the world, occupations like teachers pay less than occupations like engineers. So gender differences in occupational choice affect gender differences in earnings,” says the WEF. Throughout history, women have commonly been pushed into “lowvalue” work. In a recent article in Time, an expert noted that “historically, we have undervalued care work because it has been seen as very feminine. And we tend to undervalue feminine jobs that involve care.” Another contributing factor is housework. Though we pride ourselves on the strides women have made in the last century, women are still doing more unpaid housework than men. According to CNBC, if men and women were compensated for housework at the average American pay rate of $26.82 an hour, “men would earn an extra $469.35 a week, and women would earn an extra $761.69 a week — which comes out to nearly $40,000 a year.” Right now, the Institute for Women’s


Policy Research cites that at the current rate of change, it will take until 2059 to achieve parity in pay between men and women. Even worse, they state that “a girl born in the United States in 2017 has a life expectancy of 87 years. In 2082, when she turns age 65, a wage gap will still remain in 13 states.” We cannot accept this crawl toward equality. All working women, no matter where they are in their careers, no matter what industry they work in, need to be paid a fair wage to create tangible change. What can I do? If you’re a woman in the workforce, you can start by negotiating for better pay, and advocating for pay transparency in your workplace. If you’re a company leader, even better — you may be able to institute transparency in your workplace yourself. Data has shown that banishing the secrecy that has often hidden rates


Kick glass In NEW’s proprietary study on women in the workplace, “Kicking Glass,” we noted a few other things that company leaders can do. Remove any reference to pay history when setting salaries — female employees were likely underpaid at their last position, so don’t let that affect what they get paid at your organization. Ensure that maternity and disability leave doesn’t affect the advancement of your employees. Family-friendly and flexible policies allow women to build their careers without the stigma. And don’t forget to lean on the data. Turnover analysis and engagement surveys can uncover barriers to equal pay and retention. The name of the game is resilience. Be determined. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Though women may be less likely to get a raise when they ask for it, that doesn’t mean we should stop asking. And though there may be a long path to equality, leaders can speed the pace by taking decisive action. Women have always been expected to work as mothers, as cleaners and as unpaid laborers, and those expectations — that women’s work is taken for granted — still linger as ghosts in the consciousness of modern Americans. It’s time to take concrete steps to banish the past and create a future where our daughters earn what they deserve — equal pay for equal work.

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



Ashby Lumber, the Bay Area pro dealer with locations in Berkeley and Concord, Calif., has named Emily Morgan as its new chief executive officer. Morgan is the third generation at Ashby Lumber and has over 16 years in the business. As a co-owner and head of business development over the past 5 years, Morgan led the company through significant growth and changes, Ashby Lumber said.

ABC Supply has promoted Joe Small to Midwest Region vice president. In this position, Small will be charged with building on the success of retiring Midwest Region Vice President Jim Welch and his team. Small has over 30 years of industry experience and began his career with Bradco Supply, where he held positions Small in outside sales as well as branch and regional management. He previously served as manager of the Pennsylvania/South Jersey district.

84 Lumber has named James Abbott as vice president of engineered wood products. Abbott will report to 84 Lumber Vice President of Installed Sales and Manufacturing Ken Kucera. Abbott is charged with growing the company’s EWP programs into new markets with new customers, the company said. Abbott has Abbott 23 years of experience in the EWP industry including a variety of leadership roles with Boise Cascade and Louisiana Pacific.


Carol Tomé, former chief financial officer and executive vice president of The Home Depot, has been named as the new CEO of UPS, effective June 1. David Abney, the current chairman and CEO, will remain in his role until June 1 when he will become executive chairman of the board. He will retire from the UPS Board on Sept. 30. Tomé becomes the 12th CEO in the 113-year history of UPS.

“Restore It - Don’t Strip It!” PRODUCT SHOWCASE

Japanese Tooth Power Curve blades are the newest addition to Imperial’s full line of oscillating multi-tool accessories. Triple-ground Japanese teeth cut through wood up to 2X faster than standard Imperial wood blades resulting in precise and fast cuts. The Power Curve cutting edge allows for greater control and easier starts while cutting. Visit for more information.

Restor-A-Finish is the perfect alternative for those customers who don’t want to strip and refinish. Kitchen cabinets can be restored in an hour with a can of Restor-A-Finish. It fills a niche by having the unique ability to penetrate wood finishes and enhance the luster and depth of grain. It will bring back color and luster to faded finishes and blend out scratches and blemishes with an easy wipe-on, wipe-off process.

Eliminates white heat rings, water marks, sun fade, oxidation, smoke damage, etc. Available In: Neutral, Maple-Pine, Golden Oak, Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Dark Walnut, Dark Oak, and Ebony Brown

All items on this display stocked in Do-It-Best

~ Available Through Most Co-Ops and Distributors ~

For Wholesale Pricing Call Howard Products, Inc. 800.266.9545 Or Visit Our Website



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


(in thousands, SAAR) Feb.: 1.599,000

NAICS 44413

(sales in $ billions)



(sales in $ billions)






















10 1200



























Single-family starts (in thousands, SAAR) Feb.: 1,072,000 2000

HBSDealer Stock Roundup


the percent-change performance of stocks based on April 2 prices



























Existing-home sales (in millions, SAAR) Feb.: 5,770,000 5.8









-40 5.6



-60 -60 -50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0




















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





$2.00 80


Prior month


Prior year


4.4% 3.5



6.5 60




Apr. 2