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SEPTEMBER 2020

Vol. 46 No. 8

BRING ON THE

W RTHY! The 2020 Golden Hammer Awards recognize innovation, value and shelf appeal


THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS

Orgill Helped Us Customize Our Offerings Without Sacrificing Our Independence Why We Like Working With Orgill: • A tailored product selection • Personalized market strategies • The ability to maintain our independence 1-800-347-2860 ext. 5373 information@orgill.com www.orgill.com


“Orgill is simply the best hardware distributor for our company. Orgill offers the right retail solutions to help us build our brand and grow our business.� Corby Biddle

Higginbotham Brothers Texas


HBSDEALER HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY

14 Independent Profile: Sparr Building & Farm Supply SPECIAL REPORTS & MARKET INSIGHTS 24 The Top 200 Pro Dealer

Industry Scoreboard

34 Leaders of Lumber. Five

executives share thoughts on growth, success and serving the customer.

40 Top Women in Hardware

& Building Supply: Margi Vagell of Lowe’s.

32 16

The Golden Hammer Strikes By the Hammer of Thor, the 2020 Class of Golden Hammer Award honorees are deemed worthy of the recognition.

PRODUCTS 31 Improved visuals for stain products 32 Decking is hot in 2020

FROM THE EDITOR

NEWS & ANALYSIS

IN EVERY ISSUE

8

10 Rivalry watch: HD vs. LOW 10 Do it Best invests in

12 News Map 13 Product Knowledge

12 A tribute to Stine Lumber’s

41 People in the news 42 Quikrete Industry Dashboard

How do you like those AAPLs? A Steve Jobs memory and a $2 trillion market cap.

Nation’s Best

founder

13 Sneak Peek at the

ProDealers of the Year

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 in the United States: $110 one year; $200 two year; $14 single issue copy; Canada and Mexico: $130 one year; $235 two year; $16 single issue copy; Foreign: $150 one year; $285 two year; $16 single issue copy; 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,8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Copyright © 2020 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.

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SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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HERE’S WHAT’S ONLINE

See more and share more when you follow us on Facebook.

Hammering out the Future A two-part HBSDealer webcast on “Ecommerce: Hammering out the Future” is playing at HBSDealer.com, as forward thinking retailers have accelerated their digital initiatives. Sponsored by Epicor, the webcast is available for replay, along with our library of recordings, at HBSDealer.com/webinars.

HBSDealer Daily Newsletter: plus, the Saturday Edition The HBSDealer Daily Newsletter, the industry’s leading news source, now has a companion: “The Saturday Edition” — with the top stories and top insights you might have missed. Sign up to receive your daily news at HBSDealer.com. Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Quikrete Industry Dashboard

HBSDealer Poll Question

Stat of the Week

Throwback Thursday

Eye on Retail

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

25%

Mandatory for neither

Q

50%

Mandatory for both customers and employees

What’s your company’s mask policy?

Follow us @HBSDealer

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

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

25%

Mandatory for employees but not for customers Source: HBSDealer Survey

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FROM THE EDITOR

HBSDEALER HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY

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

How do you like those AAPLs? Interesting news from Wall Street. In mid-August Cuppertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. became the most valuable company ever in the history of U.S. finance when its market capitalization surpassed a ridiculous $2 trillion. Let’s see how that figure compares to some of the publicly traded companies of the Top 200 Pro Dealer Industry Scoreboard, coverage of which begins on page 24. There are five such pro dealers in the top 10 of the Scoreboard. Builders FirstSource, no. 2 on the list, has a market cap of $3.339 billion. No. 3 Beacon Roofing Supply clocks in at $2.203 billion. No. 4 HD Supply punches over its weight with $6.606 billion market cap. No. 6 BMC Holdings has a market cap of $2.209 billion. And no. 10 Foundation Building Materials descends into nine figures at $685 million.

“It’s not that I love Apple less, but that I love the hardware and building supply industry more.” Now consider this: since I began working on this article about a week ago, Apple’s market cap expanded to $2.127 trillion, adding another $127 billion. That’s eight times the combined market cap of our hard-working, material delivering, problem solving LBM companies mentioned above — created in a few days out of Wall Street’s thin air. Let that sink in while I share my Steve Jobs story. The very first Apple store opened in Tysons Corner, Va., and I was covering the event for a retail journal.

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SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT (HBSDealer, Drug Store News, Chain Store Age) John Kenlon, jkenlon@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5238

Ken Clark Editor in Chief

Steve Jobs was there, standing on the store’s periphery, alone. Governed by my training, I approached and launched into a question. I remember my opening question only vaguely. (Connect with me on Linkedin for more details). But I remember Steve Jobs’ response: “Yes. Excuse me.” And off he went to some other part of the store. Dear reader, I’m not bitter about that exchange. I’m proud of it. I admire Steve Jobs. And I’m an Apple customer to this day. But the fact that Wall Street’s metrics are so skewed today toward the maker of the iPhone, and away from all of our companies that make and move big things that really matter in the lives of humans — homes, projects, buildings — suggests to me that something is out of whack on Wall Street. In the language of the financial industry, the author has no “exposure” to any of the companies mentioned above. (In case you’re wondering, The Home Depot’s market cap is $304 billion, at presstime.) My financial industry friends will tell me that rising stock prices are a measure of expectations for future earnings, and that often means high tech innovation. But come on. Does America, at this point in its history, really need the iPhone 12 that badly? Gentle reader, It’s not that I love Apple less, but that I love the hardware and building supply industry more. That’s why we work hard to keep score with the Top 200. That’s also why we present another installment of Leaders of Lumber on page 24. Here are profiles of just some of the executives working every day to bring respect, success and leadership to the business. HBSD

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

EDITOR IN CHIEF Ken Clark kclark@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5139 LBM EDITOR Andy Carlo acarlo@ensembleiq.com, 845-891-5108 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Ken Ryan ryankgr@aol.com, 516-567-3034 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 AUDIENCE

LIST RENTAL MeritDirect Marie Briganti 914-309-3378 SUBSCRIBER SERVICES/CUSTOMER CARE TOLL-FREE: 1-877-687-7321 FAX: 1-888-520-3608 contact@hbsdealer.com 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 PERMISSIONS: NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL, INCLUDING PHOTOCOPY, RECORDING, OR INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM, WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM THE PUBLISHER. FOR REPRINTS, PERMISSIONS AND LICENSING, PLEASE CONTACT WRIGHT’S MEDIA AT ENSEMBLEIQ@WRIGHTSMEDIA.COM OR (877) 652-5295.

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 SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CONTENT Joe Territo

connect with us

HBSDealer.com


DOUBT IS Out.

DO IT BEST HELPS MEMBERS LAUNCH NEW LOCATIONS WITH CONFIDENCE.

“Do it Best gave us the confidence that we had it right – they led us through

More customers, more opportunity. More risk, more challenges. Expanding

the process and really took the

your business with a new location can be a time of promise and peril. But

pressure off.”

as member-owners Tammy and Scott Moore discovered, Do it Best is ready to support you every step of the way. The Moores started by collaborating with Do it Best on a thorough demographic and market analysis to confirm their chosen location was positioned for growth. Next, they worked with our Signature™ Store Design team to create the ideal store from the ground up. Guided by our market analysis, Tammy and Scott stocked their new location with comprehensive hardware and rental departments, along with a deep selection of outdoor living and home décor, including The Color Bar™ interactive paint department. Since their grand opening, Mountain View Home & Hardware has exceeded expectations, and the Moore family is already looking forward to their next location.

» Partner with Do it Best to grow your business without the worry. Call us today at 888-DO-IT-BEST (888-364-8237) or visit doitbestretail.com.

Scott Moore Mountain View Home & Hardware Patrick Building Supply


NEWS + ANALYSIS

Co-op enters acquisition mode with Nation’s Best Do it Best Corp. is taking a more aggressive approach to growth through acquisition. The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op announced a joint venture with one of its members: Nation’s Best Holdings, a 10-unit retailer with a variety of brands and a thirst for growth. “In the highly competitive home improvement business environment, growth is an absolute imperative,” said Do it Best President & CEO Dan Starr. “We are committed to fueling growth in ways that drive sales today and position the cooperative for sustained growth over the long term. To continue that momentum, Do it

Best entered into a joint venture with Nation’s Best Holdings.” Do it Best is taking a minority ownership stake in Nation’s Best, where the portfolio includes Groom & Sons’ Home Center in Texas (3 locations); Hometown Building Centers also in Texas (5 locations); and Lambert Lumber of Broken Bow, Okla. The company’s most recent acquisition is Hall’s Hardware near Pensacola Beach, Fla. The investment in Nation’s Best Holdings aligns Do it Best with a retailer committed to building a nationwide network of independent stores. Nation’s Best was founded in 2019

Nation’s Best Holdings, led by CEO Chris Miller (above) entered a partnership with Fort Wayne, Ind.based Do it Best Corp.

STAT WATCH

Home center sales heat up The months of May, June and July saw unprecedented social change in the United States. And the pandemic induced stay-at-home, spend-on-home mindset had dramatic impact on sales at Home Depot and Lowe’s. U.S. comps blew up for both companies in the second quarter.

Rivalry Watch: Home Depot vs. Lowe’s Unprecedented comp-store sales growth 40%

35.1% 30 Home Depot Lowe’s

25.0%

20

10

0 15Q4 16Q2 16Q4 17Q2 17Q4 18Q2 18Q4 19Q2 19Q4 20Q2

Source: Company reports For more coverage, visit HBSDealer.com

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SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

by Chris Miller, a former president of Parker’s Building Supply. Do it Best’s joint venture invites comparisons with other hardware wholesalers’ efforts to support retail growth in ways that also boost and protect wholesale sales. Memphis, Tenn.-based Orgill’s Central Network Retail Group division with a local-branding approach has grown from zero locations to 113 in less than 10 years. And Westlake Ace Hardware, has grown from 85 stores to more than 130 stores since it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. in 2012. In the building supply landscape, the list of fast-growing entities that are competing for acquisitions in the LBM space includes US LBM Holdings, Kodiak Building Partners and American Construction Source. At Nation’s Best, the mindset is to grow by acquiring hardware and lumber businesses around the country, regardless of the business’ current wholesaler affiliation, the company says.

HBSDealer.com


Between its easy maintenance and gorgeous looks, Zuri® Premium Decking by Royal® is a game-changer from any angle. But it’s upon close inspection that Zuri really separates itself from the competition. That’s where homeowners get to see how beautifully it recreates the aura of exotic hardwood. InspiredByZuri.com/HBSDealer 1.855.ROYAL85

For product warranty details, please visit ZuriWarranty.com

© 2020 ROYAL BUILDING PRODUCTS

NOTHING COMES CLOSE TO ZURI. ESPECIALLY THIS CLOSE.


NEWS + ANALYSIS

Stine Lumber’s founder lands on a poster Stine Lumber of Sulphur, La. celebrated the 102nd birthday — that’s right, the 102nd — of founder and WWII veteran J.W. Stine with a limited-edition poster giveaway.  Along with a dramatic aerial dogfight scene, the poster includes a photo of J.W. as a United States Army Air Force Martin B-26 Marauder pilot during WWII, as well as a more recent photo of the retail industry leader. The artwork was originally an AAF recruitment poster. Posters were given away to customers beginning in early August at all 11 of the company’s large-format home centers in Louisiana and Mississippi.

“The response has been incredible,” said Jeremy Stine, the company’s director of marketing and grandson of J.W. “Over 5,000 people combined on Facebook and Instagram have liked the post of the image of the poster.” The idea for the poster give-away emerged after a brainstorming session to celebrate J.W.’s birthday. “So we started doing some research on the plane J.W. flew, the B-26 Marauder,” Jeremy Stine said, “and came across the B-26 AAF recruitment poster and decided it would be a nice way to honor him for his service by printing commemorative posters for his 102nd birthday.” Two thousand J.W. Stine birthday

posters were printed. “My gut tells me we may need to consider another print run,” Jeremy said. Stine Home & Yard was selected as a 2020 STIHL Hardware All Star from the state of Louisiana.

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

CLOSING

ACQUISITION

wyoming

Etna

Jenkins Drywall and Insulation Kodiak Building Partners and Jenkins Lumber and Hardware have formed a greenfield drywall and insulation distribution operation, Jenkins Drywall and Insulation. The joint venture plans to be the most accessible supplier of its kind in an 80-mile radius.

connecticut

Monroe

Aubuchon Hardware Aubuchon Hardware celebrated the opening of a new store in Monroe in a site formerly occupied by Stepney Hardware, which closed in January of 2019. The opening fills what had been a home improvement void between outside-of-town home centers, Home Depot in Trumbull and Lowe’s in Derby.

ohio

Mansfield

84 Lumber Continuing its expansion efforts in 2020, 84 Lumber opened its latest truss plant here. The facility is automated and outfitted with the latest design software, computerized saws and laser projection equipment, the pro dealer said. Mansfield is already building trusses and serve customers throughout the Columbus and Cleveland markets.

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SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

georgia

Augusta

US LBM Holdings US LBM Holdings, LLC acquired Maner Builders Supply, with locations in Augusta, Ga. along with Aiken and Charleston, S.C. Following the acquisition, US LBM now operates 22 locations across the Carolinas and Georgia. W.A. Maner founded the business in 1951.

HBSDealer.com


Product Knowledge

Midwest Fastener expands with Hy-Ko Call it a bolt-on acquisition. Midwest Fastener, the Michiganbased family-owned-and-operated maker and supplier of fasteners acquired Hy-Ko, a specialty supplier known for its letters, signs, keys and accessories. The move creates a “one-source solution” for fasteners, keys, accessories, signs and electrical specialty products, the companies said. Combined, the companies offer more than 75,000 skus, with a full suite of merchandising, equipment and in-store support. All employees will remain in place following the transaction, according to the announcement, which added: “The ongoing mission of providing quality products and service to their retail and distribution partners is first and foremost.” The combined business will be managed by the DeVries family, owners of Midwest Fastener) and Bass/

Product: Haultail woven contractor bags Manufacturer: Haultail

Kaufman, owners of Hy-Ko. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Headquartered in Northfield, Ohio, Hy-Ko is a family-owned, valueadded distributor of consumable, specialty hardware-related products and services. The company has been a supplier of numbers, letters & signs, keys, accessories and electrical specialty products to retailers and wholesalers throughout North America for more than 70 years.

Knowledge: Made of a durable woven Propylene, the tearresistant contractor bags have a capacity of up to 250 pounds. Ideal for hauling away job-site scrap or cleaning up after demolition or serious storm damage. Here’s a key selling point: each bag is good for up to 5 uses. Fun fact: The bags are the offspring of the Haultail ondemand pickup and delivery service. The ride-sharing appbased Haultail “community” is a sort of Uber for bulky item transport. The slogan is “A Truck at your fingertips.”

Sneak Peek at HBSDealer 2020 ProDealers of the Year The process of selecting the 2020 ProDealers of the Year has run its course, and has caught up with a pair of high-performance third-generation dealers that emphasize employee satisfaction and industry values. show rooms, Reliable Truss and Benjamin Moore paint departments — are part of a diverse family of companies. Color: More than 200 National employees have been at the job for more than 10 years.

ProDealer of the Year National Lumber Slogan: “Service Above All” Headquarters: Mansfield, Mass. Footprint: 14 locations throughout New England — including Kitchen Views design

HBSDealer.com

Independent ProDealer of the Year Townsend Building Supply Slogan: “Projects… Done.” Headquarters: Dothan, Ala. Footprint: Five lumber yards and hardware stores, a truss plant and an Andersen window and door showroom serve the Wireglass Region of the Gulf Coast. Color: A Core Values Company Awards program recognizes those who “do the next right thing.”

The 2020 ProDealers of the Year will be featured in the October issue of HBSDealer, and will be recognized during the 2020 Virtual ProDealer Industry Summit. Learn more at Prodealer.com.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER SEPTEMBER 2020

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INDEPENDENT PROFILE

Sparr Building & Farm Supply is off and running Florida dealer opening its fourth location in horse country.

S

parr Building & Farm Supply is branching out to its fourth location this summer. Based in Sparr, Fla., the dealer completed the purchase of the former Nichols Lumber Company in Dunnellon, Fla. in March. Sparr is renovating the site and plans to open a 5,000 square-foot retail space. The new Sparr location will include a six-acre lumberyard including a drive-thru lumber barn and feed warehouse. The company also operates locations in Sparr, Williston, and Wildwood, Fla. The dealer serves contractors, residential builders and DIYers with about 50% of its business catering to agricultural needs, including feed and fencing. “We are not your typical lumber yard and we are not your typical farm store, either,” Sparr President Sam Howard told HBSDealer. The latest expansion marks the fourth Florida county that Sparr will operate within. Sparr’s last expansion move was the opening of its Wildwood location in 2008 as the Great Recession hit. “That’s when we got our doctorate in retailing,” Howard says. The Wildwood store remains the company’s largest and features 30,000 square feet of retail space in addition to

“We are not your typical lumber yard and we are not your typical farm store, either.” —Sam Howard, President

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The flagship Sparr Building and Farm Supply location in Sparr, Fla.

a yard on 14.5 acres. Sparr’s locations surround Ocala, Fla., which has more horses per square mile than anywhere else in the world, according to Howard. “That same piece of lumber can be used on a ranch or residential construction,” Howard explains. “The one side leads to sales on the other side because we have the products in stock.” Building products the dealer carries include lumber, treated lumber, metal roofing, and drywall, among others. Due to the needs of each community it serves, including farm and ranch requests, each Sparr location carries its own mix of products. Sparr was founded in 1947 on three acres north of Ocala, Fla. Elbert Griggs opened Sparr Building and Farm Supply with a vision to provide a quality product and willingness to treat each customer like family. The original store had gas pumps and groceries along with general hardware and lumber merchandise. In 1981, the Howard family purchased the business from their aunt and uncle – the Griggs.

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

Locally, when residents say, “I’m going down to Sparr,” most are referring to the store instead of the town where it resides. Today, brothers Sam and Paul Howard actively own and operate the business. Sales have been more than solid for Sparr in 2020, despite the COVID-19 crisis. “Things are booming, we are off to our best year ever,” Howard said. Part of that success has been driven by DIYers who decided to invest in projects while spending more time at home during the crisis. “That’s where it came in handy that we cater to homeowners too,” Howard notes. During the pandemic, Sparr has taken every step it could to ensure the safety of its 130 employees, including protective equipment, social distancing, cleaning precautions, and plexiglass barriers. When HBSDealer spoke with Sparr earlier this summer, not a single employee was hit by COVID-19. Looking ahead to 2021, Sam said that Sparr will focus on having a new online sales presence “up and running.”

HBSDealer.com


COVER FEATURE

WORTHY TO HOLD THE POWER By the hammer of Thor, here are the 2020 Golden Hammer Award winners By HBSDealer Staff

M

yth and history have given us many famous hammers, including that of the Marvel comics hero Thor, which bestows immense power to those worthy enough to wield it. In a similar way, those who wield the HBSDealer Golden Hammer are strengthened in the collective eyes of the hardware and building supply industry. This year’s class of honorees, chosen from a wide field of diverse candidates, can consider themselves worthy in terms of the following criteria: Innovation — features, technology, differentiation and benefits. Value — Including relative price, consumer relevance, and functional practicality Shelf appeal — clarity of message, and overall desirability of the product within its category. Judging best new products of the year is a difficult task, and the committee doesn’t claim to have super powers of perception. But the judges recognize something special in the 26 products gathered on the pages that follow. “There are thousands of new products that hit the market each year, and they are all to be commended for pushing the industry ahead,” said Ken Clark, editor in chief at Hardware & Building Supply Dealer. “Despite the uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic, innovation continues. And that’s made particularly clear by the 2020 class of Golden Hammer honorees.”

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SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

HBSDealer.com


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Arrow E21 Cordless Electric Staple Gun

Manufacturer: Arrow Fastener Co. Key features: A three-hour battery run window and the power to handle tough jobs combine in this stylish, flexible electric staple gun. Compatible with popular J21 staples. Judge’s comments: From the makers of the iconic T50 staple gun, the E21 will appeal to the stay-at-home, make-it-from home market. MSRP: $36.97 Arrowfastener.com

2

Dap Tank Bond Liquid Grip

Manufacturer: DAP Products Key features: Adding just a drop of Liquid Grip to the screw head provides up to seven times more grip, giving it the extra bit of surface traction needed to easily install or remove, while preventing unnecessary wear and tear on your tools. Judge’s comments: This will come in handy hundreds of times around our house. MSRP: $6.99 Tankbond.dap.com

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Deckorators ALX Contemporary railing

Manufacturer: UFP Industries Key features: The pre-assembled system saves deck builders valuable time and effort on railing installation, while the welding maximizes rigidity and strength. A thick powder-coated finish that resists scratches and corrosion. Judge’s comments: Backed by a 25-year removal-andreplacement warranty. MSRP: Varies ($50-$55 per linear foot) Deckorators.com/alx

CAMO Lever

Manufacturer: National Nail Key features: This board bender and locking tool locks boards and clips in place. It also straightens warped boards to build better decks with less effort. Saves time and labor. Judge’s comments: Archimedes knew about the power of levers. And so will you when you see the CAMO Lever video. MSRP: $99.95 Camofasteners.com/ products/lever

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Alside ASCEND Composite Cladding

Manufacturer: Associated Materials Key features: High marks for aesthetics and 20 fade-resistant colors. The low maintenance highperformance cladding features a patented combination of glassreinforced polymer and graphiteinfused polystyrene. Judge’s comments: Fewer steps to installation than fiber cement; and few laborers working at a time. MSRP: $800 per square Alside.com

3

The award goes to...

4

Polyblend Plus

Manufacturer: Custom Building Products Key features: The original Polyblend promised the “Right Grout. Right Color. For Any Job.” The new Polyblend Plus brings more vivid colors and is described as more “efflorescence resistant.” In other words, it lasts longer. Judge’s comments: For bringing grout to new heights, CBP deserves a GH. MSRP: $15 per 25lb bag. custombuildingproducts.com.

HBSDealer.com

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5

Consideration for the Golden Hammer Best New Products contest was given to products launched after May 31, 2019. Private label products do not qualify for a Golden Hammer award.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER SEPTEMBER 2020

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COVER FEATURE

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DoohicKey + Key tool

Manufacturer: Nite Ize Key features: At one end, there’s an integrated nail puller/staple remover, serrated edge, scoring point, and flathead screwdriver. The other end packs a Phillips head, ruler, wrench, and bottle opener for on-the-go measuring and fixing, with a carabiner clip. Judge’s comments: There are probably a few things that this versatile tool can do that you probably can’t think of, yet. MSRP: $5.99 Niteize.com

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Manufacturer: L.E. Johnson Products Key features: This new pocket-door frame system is engineered for installation in 2x4 walls, the 18-gauge cold-rolled galvanized steel splitstuds resist warping and rust. Judge’s comment. Love the automatic soft-open/soft close mechanism that slowly and silently glides on its own. No banging. No pinching. MSRP: $187 Johnsonhardware.com

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Jorgensen Heavy Duty E-Z Hold Expandable Bar Clam

9 8

12

LED Rough Service 100W Equivalent A19

Manufacturer: Pony Jorgensen Key features: Exclusive and patented feature allows for two E-Z HOLD expandable bar clamps to be joined together to make a single clamp with greater opening capacity. Available in 12”, 24” and 36” lengths. Judge’s comments: A clamping fore of up to 600 pounds. MSRP: 12” for $24.98, 24” for $29.98, 36” for $34.98 Ponyjorgensen.com

Manufacturer: eLumigen Key features: The only 100W equivalent, A19-sized, rough service LED lamp in the market. Rated for 25,000 hours of life versus 2,000 hours for a typical incandescent rough service lamp. That’s 12.5 times longer life in rough service applications. Judge’s comments: Extra-points for low, lifetime ownership cost. MSRP: $17.99 elumigen.com

10 9

Johnson 1500SC pocket door frames.

11 13

Grex GCH850 Cordless brad nailer

771 Magnetic Handy Level

Manufacturer: Kapro Tools Key features: The 4” version (shown) of the 771 features a horizontal and vertical vial, both of which are shockproof and made from solid acrylic. The 6” and 8” versions feature an additional 45-degree vial. Judge’s comments: The 771 has an accuracy of 0.0005 inches per inch. MSRP: $17.99 Kapro.com

Manufacturer: Grex Power Tools Key features: It’s about the same size as the traditional air-operated 21 gauge brad nailer, but its cordless – with the power to sink 2” 21 gauge brads into 2” of red oak. Judge’s comments: Great corporate slogan: “Changing ideas into solutions.” MSRP: $499 Grexusa.com

Starlock 1-3/8” Carbide Extreme Storm Titanium Metal Blade 10

Manufacturer: Imperial Blades Key features: An extreme metalcutting oscillating blade composed of heavy-duty bi-metal (BiM) combined with Storm Titanium coating for the longest life and best performance. Offers up to 30X more cuts than standard Imperial bi-metal blades. Judges comments: High marks for compatibility. Works with all kinds of multi tools. MSRP: $19.95 Imperialblades.com

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HBSDealer.com


Everyone’s a Winner with Leviton Innovative, reliable solutions for today’s lifestyle.

DECORA SMART VOICE DIMMER WITH AMAZON ALEXA BUILT-IN Thank you HBSDealer for awarding Leviton with the prestigious 2020 Golden Hammer award for our latest smart home innovation. The Voice Dimmer takes SMART to the next level so users can control and schedule lights, listen to music, get the news and more just by using their voice! Explore now at leviton.com/voicedimmer


COVER FEATURE 15

14 14

Decora Smart Voice Dimmer with Alexa

Manufacturer: Leviton Key features: Wi-Fi lighting with the convenience of the Amazon Alexa voice assistant in a single, sleek device built into the home to make life simpler and easier. It combines full-range dimming and 3-way capability coupled with the complete power of Amazon’s Alexa embedded voice control. Judge’s comments: No hub needed. MSRP: $99.99 Leviton.com

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Adjusta-Pull Cabinet Hardware collection

MoistureShield Elevate Capped Composite Decking 18

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19

Magnetic ToolMat

Manufacturer: Master Magnetics Key features: The Magnetic ToolMat is a flexible magnetic mat designed to securely hold tools and small parts while in the workshop, garage or on the jobsite. It also wraps around and attracts to itself for mounting on non-metal surfaces such as ladders, poles and posts. Judge’s comments: High utility for the garage, and other rooms in the house. MSRP: Depending on the size, $20, $30 or $40. Magnetsource.com

20

Manufacturer: Midwest Quality Gloves Key features: It has a water repellent coating on the outside of the glove as well as a waterproof membrane within the glove to give the user the ultimate protection from water when working on wet tasks. Has reinforced palm patch to keep hands protected along with reinforced fingertips. Judge’s comments: Might even bring it to the golf course on a rainy day. MSRP: $15 Midwestglove.com

16

Manufacturer: Liberty Hardware Manufacturing Corp. Key features: This collection adjusts to the project at hand and fits non-standard spaced holes. Just place the screws into drilled holes, slide the Adjusta-Pull Cabinet Hardware over the screws and tighten into place with the supplied special tool. Available in a variety of finishes. Judge’s comments: No need for special hardware sizes, cabinet repair supplies or wasted time drilling more holes MSRP: $3.98 to $9.98 Libertyhardware.com

MAX Resistant Glove

Manufacturer: Oldcastle Key features: In April 2020, Elevate added two new premium, variegated colors to the product line: Riverbank and Alpine Gray with texture and depth similar to rich, tropical hardwoods. a proprietary manufacturing process offering protection against moisture absorption, warping, rotting, and damage from insects. Judge’s comments: Here’s a cool stat: zero structural field failures in over 30 years. MSRP: Standard colors $2.05 per linear ft. - Variegated colors $2.55 linear ft. MoistureShield.com

19

18

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

CamJam XT cord tightener

Manufacturer: Nite Ize Key features: This rugged combination of carabiner and cam mechanism is designed to tighten, tension, connect, and secure serious loads. The combo design allows the CamJam XT to be configured in either a Fixed End or a Loop System to securely tie down lumber, gear, and other heavy loads. Judge’s comments: High marks for packaging that tells the story. MSRP: $12.49 Niteize.com

HBSDealer.com


COVER FEATURE

Total Tech All in One Heavy Duty Adhesive + Sealant

20

20

Manufacturer: The Original Super Glue Corp. Key features: A combination of a heavy-duty construction adhesive and all-purpose sealant. It bonds with high strength (up to 430 PSI); seals with great flexibility (370% elongation); and repairs any type of material indoors and outdoors. Judge’s comments: Very handy around the house, or even under water. MSRP: $10.99 Supergluecorp.com

21

Snaptrack by Screeneze

Manufacturer: Home Improvement Systems Key features: This patented, no-spline screen porch system features an aluminum base and vinyl cap that snap together to stretch and secure screen fabric. A small product profile maximizes the view. Also, screws are hidden under the vinyl cap. Judge’s comments: Any innovation that can make the porch time even more pleasant is to be commended. Screeneze.com

22

StreamLabs Control

25

TracSafe AntiSlip Sealer

26

Trex Signature Glass and Mesh Railing

Manufacturer: Reliance Worldwide Corp. Key features: Ths smart water shut-off valve is designed with state-of-theart ultrasonic technology. Provides homeowners the ability to stay connected and one step ahead of leaks through not only instant updates provided with the StreamLabs Monitor but also remote water control to stop problems at the source. Judges comment: Water damage can be a costly, underrated threat. MSRP: $599 streamlabswater.com/control

Manufacturer: Daich Coatings Key features: With anti-slip ratings up to twice the OSHA standard, TracSafe provides aggressive antislip performance with all-weather durability for both residential and commercial settings. Odorless waterbased technology bonds firmly to all types of flooring materials. Judge’s comments: Making the world a safer place to walk, one coat at a time. MSRP: $58.95 per gallon Daichcoatings.com

23

24

SmartControl 5-gallon gas can

Manufacturer: Scepter Key features: A unique push spout allows the user to control the flow of gasoline without spills. The new five-gallon gasoline container includes a rugged rear handle for easier fueling and control. Judge’s comments: A squeeze of the lever with the palm and fingers opens the spout for an accurate pour. MSRP: $29.98 Scepter.com

23

22

Rustic Beams

Manufacturer: Ornamental Moulding & Millwork Key features: Lightweight beams add “wow factor” to ceilings. The eight-foot-long hollow beams are easy to install. Made of real wood, the U-shaped beams come with mounting plates and hardware needed for the installation. Ambrosia Maple and Prefinished Gray. Judge’s comments: Bonus points for being “Made in USA” MSRP: $134.99 Ornamental.com

22

21

24

25

26

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

Manufacturer: Trex Company Key features: At the higher end of the railing market, the one-piece rails can accommodate either ¼” tempered glass panes or mesh panels made of 304 stainless steel. Premium-grade aluminum offers superior strength, while the durable powder coating allows the material to retain its color and resist corrosion. Judge’s comments: Part of a family of railing products: Trex channel partners can leverage inventory they already carry MSRP: $65 per lf for glass; $90 per lf for mesh

HBSDealer is proud to congratulate all of the 2020 honorees. And for more Golden Hammer coverage, visit HBSDealer.com.

HBSDealer.com


No-Spline Screen Porch System


SPECIAL REPORT

By HBSDealer Staff It wasn’t too long ago when commodity price deflation — with a “d” — was the talking point for the nation’s leading lumber and building material dealers. Of course, 2020 has been another story, in a lot of ways. In BMC’s 2019 annual report, it was shown that commodity price deflation eliminated about 7.5% from the top line — a gap that the company was able to fill through acquisitions and organic growth. Much has changed so far in 2020. A variety of factors have contributed to rising lumber prices. And industry leaders are being very cautious about forecasting for the future in the era of uncertainty that surrounds the pandemic. Also, much remains the same — for instance, a strategic emphasis on mergers and acquisitions among big players. And pursuit of strategic acquisitions continues to guide executives in the upper ranks. A steady stream of acquisition announcements have generated headlines at HBSDealer.com, throughout the pandemic. Also, the tradition of the Top 200 Pro Dealer Industry Scoreboard continues. On the following pages, we document and estimate the revenues of the leading LBM dealers, based on their most recently completed fiscal years.

PRO DEALERS Rank

1

24

ABC Supply*

2019 Dollar Sales

2019 Units

$11,683,000,000

788

7,280,431,000

401

7,105,160,000

529

6,146,000,000

310

3,810,700,000

262

3,626,593,000

152

3,500,000,000

255

3,250,600,000

231

3,186,000,000

350

2,154,530,000

176

1,504,300,000

165

1,256,400,000

80

880,900,000

91

705,000,000

49

640,653,000

75

Beloit, Wisc.

2

Builders FirstSource Dallas, Texas

3

Beacon Roofing Supply

4

HD Supply

5

84 Lumber*

Herndon, Va.

Atlanta, Ga.

Eighty Four, Pa.

6

BMC

7

US. LBM Holdings*

Atlanta, Ga.

Buffalo Grove, Ill.

8

GMS* Tucker, Ga.

9

SRS Distribution* McKinney, Texas

10

Foundation Building Materials

11

Carter Lumber

12

Kodiak Building Partners*

ABOUT THE LIST

The 2020 Top 200 Pro Dealer Industry Scoreboard tracks companies that sell lumber and building materials to homebuilders and contractors. To be included on this scoreboard, the majority of a company’s sales must be to the pro customer, as opposed to the homeowner of DIY customer. Information is gathered from several sources: corporate statements, published reports and interviews. HBSDealer also relies heavily on estimates, which are noted in the listings. Where stand-alone brands have been acquired by larger entities, The editors of HBSDealer encourage your feedback. Share it with us at news@hbsdealer.com.

Company Location

Tustin, Calif.

Kent, Ohio

Denver, Colo.

13

McCoy’s Building Supply

14

Harvey Building Products*

San Marcos, Texas

Waltham, Mass.

15

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

American Construction Source Springfield, Mo.

HBSDealer.com


Rank

16

Company Location

Lansing Building Products

2019 Dollar Sales

2019 Units

Rank

597,400,000

77

46

Parr Lumber

18

Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber

19

Ganahl Lumber Co.

20

Golden State Lumber*

515,100,000

36

47

474,000,000

33

48

22

465,000,000

11

49

Anaheim, Calif.

23

426,000,000

6

24 25

413,000,000

8

385,189,000

18

372,000,000

14

315,882,000

11

27

Shelter Products

315,000,000

25

312,600,000

7

Mead Lumber*

307,400,000

31

Alpine Lumber*

306,000,000

44

296,500,000

20

Westminster, Colo.

30

E.C. Barton*

32

R.P. Lumber

295,300,000

108

277,000,000

69

Edwardsville, Ill.

Idaho Pacific Lumber*

271,200,000

13

270,000,000

5

251,000,000

21

230,000,000

4

217,000,000

9

207,900,000

10

200,000,000

14

197,900,000

8

195,100,000

12

194,190,825

22

192,900,000

8

192,500,000

13

187,000,000

4

183,000,000

21

Boise, Idaho

33

Raymond Building Supply1

34

Hammond Lumber

35

Bridgewell Resources*

Belgrade, Maine Tigard, Ore.

Ring’s End

37

Erie Materials

38

Hancock Lumber Co.

50

Kuiken Brothers*

51

Capitol Building Supply*

52

Guy C. Lee Building Materials

9

164,000,000

19

154,200,000

8

53

Honsador Lumber*

151,400,000

8

151,300,000

24

151,000,000

18

149,000,000

10

147,700,000

2

147,000,000

5

144,000,000

10

138,000,000

12

135,500,000

13

133,750,000

10

Smithfield, N.C.

54

Forge Lumber/Sims Lohman1*

55

Standard Supply & Lumber1*

56

Hines Supply1*

57

Reliable Wholesale Lumber*

58

Scherer Brothers

59

Burton Lumber*

Brooklyn Park, Minn.

60

U.S. Fence Solutions* Littleton, Colo.

61

Wisconsin Building Supply1* Green Bay, Wisc.

62

American Builders Supply2* Sanford, Fla.

NAICS 4441 annual sales (in millions) Annual total sales estimates of retailers classified as “building materials and supplies dealers.”

Syracuse, N.Y.

$350,000

$337,197 $334,300

Casco, Maine

Drexel Building Supply

40

Sunpro Corp.

41

Mill Creek Lumber & Supply

42

T.W. Perry Enterprises*

$319,333

Campellsport, Wis. Saint George, Utah

300,000

$304,649

Tulsa, Okla.

$287,582

Gaithersburg, Md.

Ridout Lumber Company1*

$274,116

Searcy, Ark.

Feldman Lumber1* Brooklyn, N.Y.

45

164,000,000

Darien, Conn.

39

44

13

Fort Myers, Fla.

36

43

165,300,000

Salt Lake City, Utah

Jonesboro, Ark.

31

Lezzer Lumber*

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Columbus, Neb.

29

22

Buffalo Grove, Il.

St. Paul, Minn.

28

168,000,000

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Portland, Ore.

Lampert Lumber1*

Parker’s Building Supply1*

Cincinnati, Ohio

Sunrise, Fla.

26

12

Kapolei, Hawaii

Morrisville, N.C.

Rosen Materials1*

180,000,000

Manassas, Va.

Mansfield, Mass.

Professional Builders Supply

M.G. Building Materials*

Fair Lawn, N.J.

Calverton, N.Y.

National Lumber Co.

14

Curwensville, Pa.

Woodinville, Wash.

Riverhead Building Supply

181,700,000

Port Arthur, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Matheus Lumber

2019 Units

San Antonio, Texas

Hillsboro, Ore.

Petaluma, Calif.

21

Franklin Building Supply*

2019 Dollar Sales

Boise, Idaho

Richmond, Va.

17

Company Location

Alexander Lumber*

250,000 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Aurora, Ill.

* Estimated Data; 1 Division of US LBM Holdings; 2 Division of Kodiak Building Partners; 3 Division of American Construction Source; 4 Division of TAL Holdings

HBSDealer.com

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER SEPTEMBER 2020

25


PRO DEALERS

SPECIAL REPORT

Rank

63 64

Company Location

Erickson Companies

2019 Dollar Sales

2019 Units

Rank

130,800,000

4

81

Chandler, Ariz.

Bloedorn Lumber*

130,100,000

28

T.H. Rogers Lumber*

130,000,000

34

Koopman Lumber*

129,100,000

9

Spahn & Rose*

126,900,000

25

Big C Lumber*

126,200,000

18

The Building Center*

126,000,000

7

Hayward Lumber*

122,900,000

8

Central Valley Builders Supply*

122,300,000

8

McCray Lumber & Millwork*

121,000,000

7

HPM Building Supply*

120,000,000

8

76

Gilcrest-Jewett*

119,000,000

5

118,100,000

Zeeland Lumber & Supply

6

Zeeland, Mich.

Keim Lumber*

115,000,000

11

Woodhaven Lumber & Millwork*

110,500,000

4

Builders Supply Co.*

110,000,000

1

86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94

Universal Supply Co.1*

102,000,000

15

Tibbetts Lumber*

100,100,000

6

Builders Warehouse

100,000,000

3

LaValley/Middleton Building Supply*

95,000,000

12

NexGen1*

95,000,000

4

Lyman Companies1*

94,000,000

6

Florence Building Materials*

92,000,000

4

Innovative Construction Group*

88,000,000

2

Myers Building Product Specialists1*

88,000,000

7

Williams Lumber & Home Centers*

87,000,000

8

104,900,000

6

86,600,000

4

104,000,000

6

Londonderry, N.H.

K-I Lumber*

86,100,000

7

86,000,000

1

84,100,000

2

84,000,000

9

83,000,000

1

82,600,000

1

81,000,000

3

80,772,164

3

80,600,000

10

80,500,000

9

80,000,000

2

79,500,000

8

79,400,000

5

78,600,000

9

78,100,000

5

Louisville, Ky.

Graves Lumber* Copley, Ohio

97

Wallboard Supply Co.1*

Jennings Builders Supply and Hardware* Cashiers, NC

96

Homewood Holdings3* Loomis, Calif.

80

85

95

Omaha, Neb.

79

84

Rhinebeck, N.Y.

Lakewood, N.J.

78

4

York, Pa.

Charm, Ohio

77

103,100,000

Jacksonville, Fla.

Waukee, Iowa

75

Jackson Lumber & Millwork*

Huntington, N.Y.

Keaau, Hawaii

74

83

Eau Claire, Wisc.

Overland Park, Kan.

73

17

Britton, S.D.

Napa, Calif.

72

103,400,000

Newport, N.H.

Monteray, Calif.

71

Your Building Centers*

Kearney, Neb.

Pineville, N.C.

70

82

St. Petersburg, Fla.

Granger, Ind.

69

14

Lawrence, Mass.

Dubuque, Iowa

68

103,500,000

Lawrence, Mass.

Whitinsville, Mass.

67

2019 Units

Altoona, Pa.

Edmond, Okla.

66

Western Building Center*

2019 Dollar Sales

Kalispell, Mont.

Torrington, Wyo.

65

Company Location

Ashby Lumber* Berkeley, Calif.

98

Dunn Lumber* Seattle, Wash.

99

Single-family housing starts

Gutherie Lumber Livonia, Mich.

Total annual results for new privately owned housing units started in structures with one unit.

100

NorCal Lumber* Marysville, Calif.

101

Robert Bowden* Marietta, Ga.

$1,000,000

102

Millard Lumber* Omaha, Neb.

887,700

103

Ellsworth Builders Supply* Ellsworth, Maine

875,800 848,900 800,000

104

Vancouver, Wash.

105 106 107

The Lester Group* Martinsville, Va.

108

Viking Lumber* Belfast, Maine

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Doug Ashy Building Materials* Lafayette, La.

647,900 600,000

Mans Lumber & Millwork Trenton, Mich.

781,500

717,500

TAL Holdings*

109

Garris Evans Lumber* Greenville, N.C.

* Estimated Data; 1 Division of US LBM Holdings; 2 Division of Kodiak Building Partners; 3 Division of American Construction Source; 4 Division of TAL Holdings

26

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

HBSDealer.com


PRO DEALERS

SPECIAL REPORT

Rank

Company Location

2019 Dollar Sales

2019 Units

Rank

110

Harbin Lumber

76,400,000

7

127

75,900,000

6

Lavonia, Georgia

111

Simonson Lumber*

112

Christensen Lumber*

75,000,000

3

72,800,000

2

113

Building Component Supply*

71,000,000

2

Jacksonville, Fla.

114

Timberland Lumber* Brazil, Ind.

115

Zarsky Lumber *

71,000,000

2

9

Victoria, Texas

116

O.C. Cluss Lumber*

71,000,000

5

Uniontown, Pa.

117

Big Creek Lumber*

70,000,000

5

70,000,000

1

Davenport, Calif.

118

Yoder’s Building Supply Fair Play, S.C.

119

Poulin Lumber *

69,000,000

1

4

Derby, Vt.

120

Desert Companies *

69,000,000

1

5

Las Vegas, Nev.

121

Zuern Building Products*

67,500,000

5

67,000,000

6

Allenton, Wis.

122

Ed Herrington * Hillsdale, N.Y.

123

66,000,000

Moynihan Lumber

3

North Reading, Mass.

124

Wilson Lumber*

65,000,000

3

Huntsville, Ala.

125

Jaeger Lumber*

65,000,000

7

63,900,000

4

Union, N.J.

126

Arnold Lumber* West Kingston, R.I.

2019 Units

PMC Building Materials/ Randall Brothers*

63,500,000

5

63,200,000

1

63,000,000

10

62,500,000

6

62,500,000

9

62,500,000

8

62,000,000

5

62,000,000

6

62,000,000

1

60,000,000

5

60,000,000

1

59,200,000

6

59,000,000

9

59,000,000

6

58,000,000

6

58,000,000

3

58,000,000

7

57,500,000

4

57,500,000

4

56,000,000

1

56,000,000

4

55,500,000

6

55,100,000

1

55,000,000

5

54,410,000

1

54,000,000

11

54,000,000

2

53,800,000

1

52,500,000

3

Buck Lumber * Charleston, SC

129

Fremont, Neb.

2019 Dollar Sales

Marietta, Ga.

128

St. Cloud, Minn.

Company Location

Concord Lumber* Littleton, Mass.

130

Tindell’s Building Materials

131

Belletetes*

Knoxville, Tenn. Jaffrey, N.H.

132

Shelly’s Building Supply* Telford, Pa.

133

Arlington Coal & Lumber* Arlington, Mass.

134

Mid-Cape Home Centers* South Dennis, Mass.

135

Kleet Lumber* Huntington, N.Y.

136

GBS Bulding Supply1* Mauldin, S.C.

137

Cape Cod Lumber* Abington, Mass.

138

East Haven Builders Supply1* East Haven, Conn.

139

Warner Robins Supply* Warner Robins, Ga.

140

Rio Grande Building Materials* Denver, Colo.

141

Cassity Jones Lumber* Longview, Texas

142

Building Solutions* Tulsa, Okla.

143

Direct Cabinet Sales1* Dayton, N.J.

144

United Builder's Supply* Westerly, R.I.

145

Total housing starts

Builders’ General Supply* Little Silver, N.J.

Annual results for new privately owned housing units started.

146

Dallas, Texas

147

1,500,000

Oldham Lumber* Niehaus Lumber* Vincennes, Ind.

148

Bailey Lumber & Supply* Gulfport, Miss.

149

1,249,900

Grand Prairie, Texas 1,290,000

1,173,800

1,200,000

Texas Plywood & Lumber Co.*

1,203,000 1,111,800

150

Humphrey’s Building Supply Center* Tiverton, R.I.

151

Wheelwright Lumber Company

152

Sterling Lumber & Investment*

Ogden, Utah Westminster, Colo.

1,003,300

153

Coastal Roofing Supply1* Clearwater, Fla.

900,000 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

154

Building Supply Association* Powder Springs, Ga.

155

Beisser Lumber* Grimes, Iowa

* Estimated Data; 1 Division of US LBM Holdings; 2 Division of Kodiak Building Partners; 3 Division of American Construction Source; 4 Division of TAL Holdings

28

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

HBSDealer.com


Greener fences Greener pastures

WolmanizedÂŽ Outdoor Wood has a lower carbon footprint than metal, composites or cement. Find out more at WolmanizedWood.com

WolmanizedWood.com


PRO DEALERS

SPECIAL REPORT

Rank

Company Location

2019 Dollar Sales

2019 Units

Rank

Company Location

2019 Dollar Sales

2019 Units

156

Bellevue Builders Supply1*

52,000,000

3

173

Jones Lumber1*

43,000,000

2

42,500,000

6

42,500,000

2

42,300,000

3

42,000,000

3

42,000,000

10

42,000,000

4

42,000,000

3

41,800,000

5

41,500,000

4

41,100,000

1

41,000,000

4

41,000,000

1

40,800,000

6

40,000,000

5

40,000,000

1

40,000,000

2

40,000,000

8

39,300,000

7

38,400,000

9

38,100,000

1

38,000,000

3

37,800,000

3

37,000,000

3

37,000,000

5

36,000,000

1

35,000,000

1

35,000,000

3

Schenectady, N.Y.

Boca Raton, Fla.

Haynes Brothers Lumber*

157

52,000,000

2

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

51,000,000

3

New York, N.Y.

50,532,428

1

Baltimore, Md.

The Lyon & Billard Lumber Co.*

160

49,000,000

5

Meriden, Conn.

Howard Lumber & Hardware*

161

48,800,000

2

Statesboro, Ga.

The Forest Group*

162

48,500,000

4

48,000,000

5

47,500,000

9

ISC Building Materials* Dykes Lumber*

46,700,000

2

46,200,000

1

45,000,000

8

45,000,000

4

44,000,000

1

44,000,000

4

44,000,000

7

43,500,000

3

Weehawken, N.J. Manassas Park, Va. Riverside, Calif. Catoosa, Okla.

Preston Feather Buiding Centers*

168

Petoskey, Mich.

Channel Lumber*

169

Richmond, Calif.

Uresco Constructin Materials*

170

178

Window Depot

172

Crenshaw Lumber*

Eastern Pennsylvania Supply Co.* Lumber Investors* Alexandria, La.

Truitt & White Lumber* Berkeley, Calif.

Lummus Supply Company* Atlanta, Ga.

Thrifty Building Supply* Collierville, Tenn.

Builders Supply Co Lancaster, S.C.

184

Fullerton Lumber* Plymouth, Minn.

185

Clay Ingels* Lexington, Ky.

186

Goldsboro Builders Supply* Goldsboro, N.C.

Kent, Wash.

171

Maner Builders Supply*

Wilkes Barre, Pa.

183

Hughes Lumber*

167

Huskey Building Supply*

Augusta, Ga.

182

Champion Lumber*

166

177

181

Virginia Contractors Supply*

165

Parks Building Supply & Interiors*

Franklin, Tenn.

180

Dallas, Texas

164

176

179

Oklahoma City, Okla.

163

175

Fayetteville, N.C.

Louis J. Grasmick Lumber

159

Gordon Lumber* Fremont, Ohio

Prince Lumber*

158

174

187

Herrman Lumber* Springfield, Mo.

Tucson, Ariz.

188

City Lumber* New York, N.Y.

Gardena, Calif.

189

Montalbano Lumber* Houston, Texas

Year-to-date residential construction Total and single-family housing starts, not adjusted, through the first seven months of the year. 1-fam

190

Pleasantville, N.J.

191

Griffin Lumber & Hardware* Cordele, Ga.

192

Associated Building Supply Oxnard, Calif.

Total

800,000

193

Mason’s Mill & Lumber* Houston, Texas

763,200

729,200

Peter Lumber*

194

W.E. Shone Lumber* Stanton, Del.

600,000 514,500

195

519,200

Tulnoy Lumber* Bronx, N.Y.

400,000

196

A.C. Houston Lumber* Las Vegas, Nev.

197

Orange County Building Materials* Vidor, Texas

200,000 198

Nisbet Brower* Cincinnati, Ohio

0

2019

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

2020

199

G.V. Moore Lumber* Ayer, Mass.

200

Tum-A-Lum Lumber4* Bend, Ore.

* Estimated Data; 1 Division of US LBM Holdings; 2 Division of Kodiak Building Partners; 3 Division of American Construction Source; 4 Division of TAL Holdings

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PRODUCTS

New optics make the stain sale more attractive

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akers and marketers of stain products are continuing to invest in new looks — both in the finished product and in the appearance of the product on the shelf. Old Masters, a division of Diamond Vogel, is launching a new look for its popular Fast Dry Stain. The new label design features easy-to-read product messaging and introduces a color swatch on the front for quick color recognition. The new labeling positions Fast Dry Stain as one of Old Masters’ premium products in its offering. “We are launching our new label for Fast Dry Stain to heighten the awareness of this product and elevate our consumers’ shopping experience,” says Robert Reints, director of Old Masters. “Our new label now offers a color swatch on the front to assist buyers in selecting the right color quickly, and the addition of the color swatch enhances the showroom presentation which benefits dealers, as it showcases the broad offering of stain colors available.” New packaging from Old Masters is designed to elevate the customer’s shopping experience.

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ZAR, from UGL, introduced six adventurous colors earlier this year as part of the company’s Global Canvas Collection.

Available in 23 colors, Old Masters Fast Dry Stain — one of five wood stain categories offered by Old Masters — can be sprayed, wiped, or applied by brush onto the surface. Custom colors can be achieved by intermixing Fast Dry Stains to the desired color or by tinting with universal colorants, providing unlimited color options. ZAR, a brand of United Gilsonite Laboratories, unveiled six new colors earlier this year. Along with the beauty of the colors is the poetry of the names – designed to create a sense of adventure. Consider the colors of Moroccan Red and Exotic Redwood, both added to the brand’s Global Canvas Collection. The new hues are described as warm and exotic with an appeal to the world traveler. Meanwhile, SherwinWilliams’ Minwax brand introduced its Wood Finish Water-Based Color Stains, a line of water-based semi-transparent and newto-the-world solid stains. Speaking of optics, the line

has more than 200 color options. The product is “ideal for those who want to bring out the natural beauty and protect wooden furniture while adding a pop of color to their home décor,” said Sue Kim, Minwax senior color designer. “Our new quick-drying formula makes it easy for do-it-yourselfers to finish projects in a single day; the hard part will be choosing from the more than 200 color options.” All products in the Minwax Wood Finish Water-Based Color Stains line are thicker than the brand’s previous waterbased stain formulas, making it easier to use, while still providing one-coat coverage that dries in an hour.

Minwax Wood Finish Water-Based Color Stains add a pop of color without obscuring the grain patterns and natural beauty of the wood.

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NEW PRODUCTS

Decking is hot in 2020 Pandemic conditions lead to a spike in decking demand. By Andy Carlo

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ecking has been furious in 2020. While COVID-19 cut into home builder sales at the early stages of the pandemic before a positive swing, decking has been flying for months partly due to the number of people who have been stuck at home during the crisis. “With the pandemic, there’s been a spike in the entire outdoor living category,” says Kim Boos, director, channel sales North America for Fortress Building Products. “The demand for composite decks, railing, fencing, and other related products are at an all-time high.” “As more people have found themselves at home, they’re looking out their windows and identifying ways to improve their outdoor living areas. Instead of vacations, homeowners are buying products to create a relaxing getaway in their own backyard,” Boos notes. The options and combinations in decking products continue to grow, however, “A growing opportunity for dealers is to position themselves as

an educational resource to builders and homeowners,” says Jose DeBoer, senior marketing manager at Deckorators. “Having a staff that is knowledgeable about the many brands, product and material options is key. There are differences in technologies, differences in price points and what features you receive or forfeit at each level, nuances to how the product installs, and pros and cons to competing products in different scenarios.” Pricing is another important factor. According to Leslie Adkins, vice president of marketing for Trex, a big shift in the category has been the influx of lower price point composite decking options. Trex launched its Enhance line of decking, providing composite products to a wider audience. “Trex Enhance allows budget-minded homeowners, who may not have previously considered composite decking due to price, to upgrade their outdoor spaces with high-performance, low-maintenance decking,” Adkins said. Here are some of the latest decking products to hit the market:

Fortress Building Products Al13 HOME residential aluminum railing is an affordable, high quality, long lasting railing system that is easy to install and virtually maintenancefree. The aluminum panels come with pre-attached brackets to simplify installation and an array of custom infill options to accommodate the vision behind any outdoor living space. Customers can fully personalize the durable railing solution with standard aluminum pickets, vertical cable or Pure View Glass inset (full or glass balusters). They can also choose from “Matte White” or “Black Sand” premium textured finishes – each is designed to withstand the elements. FortressBP.com

The MoistureShield Elevate line of capped wood composite decking has added two new premium, variegated colors to the product line: Riverbank and Alpine Gray. With texture and depth similar to rich, tropical hardwoods, these colors join the classic solid colors of Canoe, a forest brown, and Lake Fog, a soft gray shade. The curated selection of classic and premium color options allows contractors to create stylish, durable outdoor spaces simply and affordably. Elevate features the Solid Core Difference, a proprietary manufacturing process offering protection against moisture absorption, warping, rotting, and damage from insects. Moistureshield.com

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Deckorators ALX Contemporary cable railing achieves a clean, minimalist style that will not obstruct views. The system’s heavy-gauge aluminum components, including a 2-inch wide rectangular top rail, are available in four colors: Textured Black, Textured White, Weathered Brown and Bronze. Complementary Deckorators by Hinkley Lighting low-voltage lighting is also available in these colors. A powder-coated finish resists scratches and corrosion. 316 stainless steel cable and hardware kits are available in the following cable lengths: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50 feet with anodized aluminum cable spacers. Cable can span up to 50 feet on a railing run before a stop or start is required, and the stainless cable is backed by a 10-year limited warranty on manufacturing defects. Deckorators.com/ALX Promenade Premium Decking from Fiberon features enhanced streaking, premium embossing and a next-generation surface coating designed for superior weather resistance, Backed by Fiberon’s industry-leading warranties, Promenade PVC decking is covered by a lifetime limited performance warranty and a 50year stain and fade warranty. Promenade deck boards are lightweight and easy to handle, with a slip-resistant texture that makes them ideal for waterside applications. Both grooved- and square-edge options feature four-sided capping with streaking on the unembossed underside. Fiberondecking.com

CAMO Fasteners, a division of National Nail, has introduced EDGEXMETAL Clip. The clip is designed to fasten any grooved deck board on metal substructure that installs easily by hand with the included Never-Miss Guide or up to five times faster with the CAMO DRIVE stand-up tool, both using the contractor’s drill. EDGEXMETAL Clips are one-pass fasteners that use the same technology as CAMO EDGEX Clips for wood framing. The wings of the clip fit into the groove of the board, securing it before fastening, and the 304 Stainless Steel gusset holds the boards down. EDGEXMETAL features a drill point screw that engages in less than two seconds, rather than a self-tapping screw for wood. Camofasteners.com

An innovative under-deck drainage system, Trex RainEscape uses a network of troughs and gutters to capture and divert water away from a deck and the substructure. This allows homeowners to virtually double their outdoor space by protecting the area below the deck from rain, sun, and other elements. Once protected, the dry space beneath the deck can be used for storage or as additional living space and outfitted with everything from furniture and decorative accessories to lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, gas lines and entertainment components. The system is applied over the joists before the deck boards are installed to shield the entire foundation from moisture penetration and deterioration. TrexRainEscape.com

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L.T. Gibson, CEO President and Founder US LBM

L LEADERS OF LUMBER By Andy Carlo

2020

For the second year in a row, HBSDealer discussed strategy, culture, and opportunities with the leaders of some of the largest lumber and building material retail organizations in the nation. Here are five views on growth, success, and meeting customers’ needs in the lumber industry from the top of US LBM, American Construction Source, Hancock Lumber, LMC, and The Home Depot. 34

ast year marked the 10 th anniversary for US LBM. Founded in 2009 with 16 locations in three states, there have been a few changes at the company since its debut. That includes expanding to more than 250 locations with sales hitting $3.5 billion in 2019. But US LBM President and CEO L.T. Gibson has been a constant since he founded the company, overseeing super growth at one of the lumber and building material industry’s largest dealers. “Building a great company is full of ups and downs and you have to realize that the process you create and the journey you take is your ultimate destination,” Gibson told HBSDealer. “At the end of the day, this is about people, reliability and excellence.” Gibson says the lessons he learned during his journey with US LBM “could fill volumes.” “It ranges from setting the right strategies early, to building processes and systems to meet your needs today and in the future, to being flexible so you can quickly pivot as markets and economies shift,” he says. “Most importantly, you need to lay out a clear vision of the future and keep your team focused on that vision.” Part of that vision is US LBM’s leadership team who remain focused on continuing best practices for the business on a daily basis. “Keeping our attention on our core mission and strategic road map gives

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us the most options and opportunities for the future,” Gibson says. Regarding growth, the Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based pro dealer looks to expand in existing markets and partner with the best companies in new markets. Essential to acquisitions are partnerships that are beneficial to both companies. “Even if we partner with a market leader, we want to be able to provide a potential new partner the tools and resources to grow, which could be via our wider access of suppliers, product lines, or technology,” Gibson explains. “They receive the benefits of US LBM’s scale and industry leverage along with a deep bench of support, product and subject matter experts, technology, training opportunities, and a playbook of operational best practices from across our family of divisions.” Likewise, US LBM looks at companies that can bring a new dynamic to the dealer and its network, including markets or product categories that dealers might not be in. A strength of US LBM is the company’s ability to adapt while proactively finding new opportunities to advance and improve in the industry. “We’re progressive in how we approach things and have always regarded ourselves as the ‘new’ kid on the block and as an alternative to the traditional lumber yard model,” Gibson says. “Doing things because ‘that’s how they’ve always been done’ has never been our approach. Technology has been central to our value proposition from day one and we’ve

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been quicker to implement technology than others.” Giving back is another aspect of US LBM. The company’s non-profit US LBM Foundation is an aspect of the company that Gibson says he is most proud of. “We’ve recently entered into some very exciting partnerships through our foundation to either donate dollars or building materials to assist veterans, help those who need housing or are victims of natural disasters and diseases,” Gibson says. The company has a disaster relief fund to help its own associates in times of need. US LBM also sets aside a fund

of more than $100,000 that its divisions have access to for use in supporting communities and augmenting local volunteer work and donations. In response to COVID-19, the dealer donated $100,000 to Meals on Wheels to help the hard-hit Northeast and allocated $50,000 across its divisions to support local community food banks. “It’s great to be able to give back and it’s one of the most important things we’re able to do. Since the foundation was established in 2013, we have donated more than $1 million in total and that is something we are all very proud of,” Gibson says.

“Even if we partner with a market leader, we want to be able to provide a potential new partner the tools and resources to grow, which could be via our wider access of suppliers, product lines, or technology.”

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James Drexinger

CEO American Construction Source

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merican Construction Source (ACS) burst onto the pro dealer scene in the second half of 2018 when its formation included the acquisition of more than 50 Meek’s Lumber Company locations in Arkansas, California, Missouri and Nevada From there, it was all business as the company made a series of acquisitions fueled by the financial backing of investment firms Angeles Equity Partners and Clearlake Capital Group. For 2019, sales increased more than 13% to over $640.7 million from sales of $566.3 million in the prior year. And in 2020, ACS made big news again when it acquired Homewood Holdings another rising star among the dealer ranks. The acquisition expanded ACS to more than 70 locations in 9 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, and Washington. This past summer, ACS expanded again, acquiring Weaver Lumber of North Carolina. According to ACS CEO James Drexinger, a driver behind ACS’s rapid growth and big deals is the company’s approach to preserving the family-owned business legacy of the dealers it acquires. “ACS knows this is a people business built on relationships and trust,” Drexinger told HBSDealer. “We work hard every day to earn the right to our business with builders, contractors, tradespeople, and sophisticated DIY consumers.” A key component to ACS’s

ability to strengthen relations is the Springfield, Mo.-based company’s management team, composed of experienced leaders who have previously executed successful strategies on both a national and local scale. According to ACS, the pro dealer has the ability to improve the local customer experience while leveraging national scale efficiencies. During his tenure as CEO of ACS, Drexinger said he has learned that the culture of acquisition targets, along with their employees,must be a match with ACS’s culture in order for the deal to be a success. ACS is looking for LBM yards with strong leadership and a bench of talent willing to tackle tough problems as the company continues to grow its business through investment and expansion, he said. “We have customers where grandma/grandpa, mom/ dad, and sons and daughters have all been supported over the decades by our local yards,” Drexinger notes. “You approach the business differently, knowing you are not only honoring a multigeneration relationship – but you are also earning the right to the next generation of opportunities.”

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“We work hard every day to earn the right to our business with builders, contractors, tradespeople, and sophisticated DIY consumers.” While it’s a major LBM player, ACS is loyal to its roots. Each location is given a specific budget for supporting community activities, including family-friendly appreciation days, pro-focused manufacturer expos, training events, sponsoring local charities and athletics, and ways to say thank you to first responders. Most recently, with the COVID-19 crisis, and previously with wildfires and other natural disasters, local ACS associates have stood strong to help keep builders building and contractors remodeling. “Customers repeatedly tell us, ‘I can stay open because you are staying open’.” Drexinger said. Evidence of ACS’s national leadership has been apparent during the COVID-19 crisis. The dealer continuously communicated the latest updates to employees and customers while backing the construction safety shut down, encouraged by the National Association of Home Builders, to help reinforce safety standards and training during the pandemic. “We proactively overcommunicate with associates and customers,” Drexinger says. “ACS would rather be leading the navigation through the crisis, rather than following, or just being in the way.”

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Kevin Hancock Chairman and CEO Hancock Lumber

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ompany culture is an essential component of Hancock Lumber. A little more than a year ago, Hancock Lumber was named a “Best Place to Work in Maine” for the sixth year in a row. The Casco, Maine pro dealer’s Chairman and CEO Kevin Hancock said the importance of company culture moved to the forefront after he acquired a voice disorder — spasmodic dysphonia — in 2010. “From that voice

condition I came to know what it was like to not feel fully heard,” Hancock told HBSDealer. Roughly two years later, Hancock began spending time on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota where he met an entire community that felt like a piece of their authentic voice had been taken or marginalized. “Putting the two events together, I realized that there are lots of ways for people to lose their voice in this world and that leaders had often done more to restrict the voices of others than to liberate them,” Hancock explains. “This is how I decided I wanted to help create a work

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culture where power was dispersed and every voice felt authentically heard.” Hancock has written two books about the subject and his journey: Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse and The Seventh Power, released in January. Since initiating a shift in company culture, Hancock says he has learned that everyone wins when a company makes the employee experience a top priority. “We all know the old saying, ‘the customer comes first.’ Well, I don’t actually believe that’s true anymore,” Hancock notes. “I believe the people who are going to take care of the customer should

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I believe the people who are going to take care of the customer should come first. If the employees are having a great experience they will take best in class care of the customer and their company in return. come first. If the employees are having a great experience they will take best in class care of the customer and their company in return.” Using a piece of Maine slang, Hancock says customer service is pivotal - but “The customer comes a wicked close second.” “We love our customers and they are exceptionally important to our success and mission—but, they don’t come first. The people who are going to serve them come first and our customers support this.” A vital component of company culture is the ability to measure the employee experience at a company. Hancock Lumber does this two ways. Each year the company participates in the “Best Places to Work in Maine” survey with every employee spending several confidential minutes online answering questions about their experience at Hancock Lumber. “When everyone takes the survey, this becomes the collective voice of the employees and the survey

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produces a score in a variety of important categories. We then track our progress against those scores across time and locations.” The CEO describes the data received from the survey as “exceptionally rich.” He also calls the actual data as “the answers to the test.” “Our employees are telling us exactly where the opportunities to celebrate and the opportunities to improve lie. It really simplifies the running of a company.” Hancock says the company doesn’t participate in the Best Places survey to capture another award. Rather, the dealer is participating so it can capture metrics about employee satisfaction. “We want to know what employees are feeling and thinking; the survey is one valuable way to access that information,” Hancock says. Once the data is analyzed, managers respond to what employees are saying. The company also spends a great deal of time listening to individual employees and small focus groups. For the activity to be true, employees are safe to freely speak and provide honest opinions. “Listening for understanding, not judgment is the key skill,” Hancock explains. “In this approach it becomes important to realize that there are no wrong answers, just honest perspectives that we want to hear and understand.” “When a company is safe, people will relax and focus on helping the organization improve,” he adds. “The politics, the fear, and the distrust simply dissolve. Ego dissolves as well. People are allowed to just be themselves at Hancock.”

Sean Tighe

Senior VP of Purchasing LMC

“Y

es, we have taken a hit, and our resolve is being tested, but the LMC network is defined by hope, pride and determination,” Sean Tighe, senior vice president of purchasing at LMC, said as the COVID-19 crisis was at its height. Now in its 85th year, LMC is made up of more than 390 independent forest products and building material dealers with over 1,400 locations in 50 states and the Bahamas. The largest forest products and building materials co-op in the nation, the company had more than $4.5 billion in purchases last year. Tighe took over the role of SVP purchasing after the retirement of 39-year veteran Andy Toombs this past April. A 21-year veteran of LMC, Tighe previously held the position of vice president of the Lumber Division. He began his career at LMC in 1994 as a lumber buyer, and has subsequently traded every lumber species in the North American wood basket. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, LMC and its dealer members were off and running. “First quarter numbers were record-setting,” Tighe told HBSDealer. “We had a great start to the year. The first quarter was ahead of previous year by 13%, with March finishing 16% ahead of the same month last year.” “Housing starts were far outpacing 2019,” he adds. “By all indications, 2020 was to be a very strong year for all of us.”

But despite the arrival of the crisis, LMC and its membership marches on. “As an organization, we have taken all necessary steps to continue to provide our dealers with the exceptional service they are accustomed to even while working remotely,” Tighe explains. “They can count on us to provide support, guidance, and solutions to all the challenges they are facing during this pandemic. We are all survivors. We have a solid history of adapting. Regardless of how long this will last, the challenges we are facing today, will make us much stronger tomorrow.” Tighe says that the Independent retail lumberyard is “resilient.” “And as they often do, they have lead the way in their communities to assist the local hospitals and medical professionals to fight this enemy. They led the way, immediately implementing safety standards in their organizations, for the safety of their employees and their customers.”

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J.T. Rieves

“Similar to the Great Recession, our dealers will continue to pick up share as they have for the last 10 years.” From a supplier perspective, LMC has taken a proactive approach communicating with suppliers to gather any supply chain disruptions and then shared the updates in daily emails to members. These daily emails also broke down the everchanging federal government opportunities available for members to keep their businesses moving. For the supplier community, LMC began monitoring dealer location hours that could affect deliveries, so critical shipments would arrive at the right time. LMC employees quickly rose to the challenge of working remotely and embraced tech to get the job done. “This technology will provide us some new opportunities to be even more connected with our dealers and each other, even when we return to the office,” Tighe says. Looking ahead, LMC wants its members to continue keeping their employees safe and to remain leaders in their communities. “Whether the recovery will be, a V, U, L or W is the question,” Tighe says. “Similar to the Great Recession, our dealers will continue to pick up share as they have for the last 10 years.”

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Vice President, Pro Business The Home Depot

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he Home Depot continues to make professional customers a major focus. Its pro B2B site now has more than 1 million pro customers onboarded and is intent on making the new online experience very “pro specific,” according to J.T. Rieves, The Home Depot vice president, Pro Business. Rieves is in his 31st year working at The Home Depot, having started as an hourly associate, and rising up the ranks to store manager, district manager and regional vice president. For the past 8 years he’s been overseeing the home improvement giant’s in-store pro segment. “Professionals are one of our most important customers,” Rieves told HBSDealer. “Our leadership and field teams remain laserfocused on how to make the business better for our pro customers. A significant part of our strategic business initiatives are focused on our commitment to the pro. This includes expanded fulfillment options and improvements to pricing programs, and our Pro

“Our leadership and field teams remain laserfocused on how to make the business better for our pro customers.”

Xtra loyalty program.” The new pro online experience allows pros to build lists of frequently purchased items, download their purchase history in QuickBooks, and to build, save and share quotes — locking in pricing.” Within the retailer’s stores, The Home Depot is enhancing its focus on in-stock products, with new tools targeting best sellers and key pro items. The retailer is also looking to expedite pros’ visit to the store so they are in and out faster. This includes enhancements to the pro desk system, allowing store associates to assist top pros through recommended products and services. While product assortments have been expanded and inventory strengthened, The Home Depot’s pricing continues to focus on low prices for pros. “Our Volume Pricing Program allows pros to take advantage of pricing by our merchandising team when buying in larger quantities,” Rieves says. “In addition, we continue to expand our Pro Direct programs, allowing pros to buy in bulk for larger savings and have the product delivered

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directly to the pro.” During the COVID-19 crisis, The Home Depot’s ‘Buy Online Pickup in Store’ program became extremely successful with pros. “This enables our pros to order from their home or the job site and lets us do the work of pulling the order — allowing the pro to spend more time working and less time shopping.” Whether it’s leadership, reps in the field, products or technology, Rieves said that the company is laser-focused on how to make business better for its pro customers. “We always strive to provide unique and comprehensive product offerings, continued innovation, and exceptional convenience and value,” he said.

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MARKET INSIGHTS

Lumber prices hit the homeowners wallet Surging softwood lumber prices are having a big impact on the price of new homes. The big price increases in lumber have caused the sticker on the average new single-family home to increase by more than $16,000 since April 17, according to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) standard estimates of lumber used to the build the average home. Simultaneously, the average new multifamily home has increased by more than $6,000 during the same period. Random Lengths, the lumber pricing guide, reported that the price of framing lumber climbed beyond $800 per thousand board feet as of Aug. 21. This is a 130% increase since mid-April. The NAHB said it calculated average home-price increases based on the softwood lumber that goes into the average new home, as captured in the Builder Practices Survey conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs. This includes any softwood used in structural framing (including beams, joists, headers, rafters and trusses), sheathing, flooring and underlayment, interior wall and ceiling finishing, cabinets, doors, windows, roofing, siding, soffit and fascia, and exterior features such as garages, porches, decks, railing, fences and landscape walls. The softwood products considered include lumber of various dimensions (including any that may be appearance grade or pressure treated for outdoor use), plywood, OSB, particleboard, fiberboard, shakes and shingles — essentially, any of the products sold by U.S. sawmills and tracked on a weekly basis by Random Lengths. At the prices reported by Random Lengths on April 17, 2020, the total cost to a builder for all the lumber and lumber-

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related products described above was $16,927 for the products in an average single-family home, and $5,940 for the products in an average multifamily home. But the NAHB said that by the time Random Lengths reported prices on Aug. 21, the cost to builders had risen to $30,470 for the softwood lumber products in an average single-family

Hot summer for starts Housing starts continue to demonstrate dramatic growth, fueled by low mortgage rates and an urban exit to the suburbs and beyond. Total residential starts for July surged 22.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.496 million from the revised June rate of 1.22 million. The latest report, released today by the Department of Commerce, is 23.4% above the July 2019 rate of 1.212 million. Single-family starts in July jumped 8.2% to 940,000 compared to a revised June rate of 869,000. Housing permits for July are at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.495 million, rising 18.8% from the revised June rate of 1.258 million. The latest report is also 9.4% above the July 2019 rate of 1.366 million. Single-family authorizations in July were at

home, and $11,061 for the products in an average multifamily home. This is a $13,543 (80%) and $5,122 (86%) increase respectively, in only four months. a rate of 983,000, which is 17% above the revised June figure of 840,000. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said the strength in housing is a major contributor to local economic recovery. “Such growth is needed to steadily relieve the housing shortage,” Yun said. “The rise of single-family units is welcome, as overall inventory of homes for sale are down by 19% from one year ago and there is intense buyer competition in the market as a result.” Despite rising lumber prices, the housing landscape is ripe for buyers. “The market is being buoyed by historically low interest rates, a focus on the importance of housing and a shift to the suburbs as more buyers are seeking homes in suburban communities, exurbs and more affordable low density markets,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Total Housing Starts Through July, SAAR, in thousands 1,600

2019

2020

1,496

1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Source: Commerce Department

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The 2020 Top Women in Hardware and Building Supply Awards Gala will bring the industry together virtually Nov. 2-5. Learn more at HBSDTopWomen.com.

At Lowe’s, a focus on diversity Highlights from an interview with Margi Vagell. By Ken Clark

While the home improvement industry has increased its number of women in leadership positions, one such leader sat down with HBSDealer to get a glimpse of her aspirations for the business. Margi Vagell is senior vice president of merchandising, home décor, with Lowe’s home improvement. Vagell shared her approach to career development in the hardware and building supply industry, and she gave us insight into how she reads a room. “The spirit of diversity and culture is a constant conversation here in a great way,” Vagell said of the Mooresville, N.C.-based company, adding that the conversation begins with the company’s dedication to recruiting diverse talent and continues with its focus on retaining diverse leaders. “Bringing different viewpoints to the table gives any company an advantage when tackling projects and challenges. The industry is rich with talent, and in the past two years under the leadership of our President and CEO, Marvin Ellison, we’ve made important progress in advancing inclusion and diversity within the company,” Vagell said. “Our strategy doesn’t stop at skin color or gender. It’s also understanding where it’s important to have diversity of experience, and then, also, understanding where it’s really important to have diversity in expertise.” As one of the industry’s Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply, Vagell agrees with those who say if you focus on the short-term projects that build on themselves, then long-term success will take care of itself. That said, she also believes that proper

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investments have to be made in portions of the business to support long term growth. Vagell’s career path included what she described as five lateral moves before a promotion to the vice president level. At each position, she said, she gained experience that prepared her for greater responsibility. “Yes, I think it’s important to have career goals,” she explained. “However, I think it’s more important to have a goal and a target to be as successful as possible in your existing role.” Vagell calls on the home improvement industry to better help both women and men balance the demands of business life and home life. “Gender equality goes beyond a paycheck,” Vagell said. “We need to hold all associates to the same standard of performance while also providing all associates the tools to succeed at both work and home life.” It wasn’t easy at first, but Vagell has learned to accept and even embrace the idea that no one should apologize for seeking balance between one’s career and one’s family,

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home life or motherhood (Vagell has two young children). And that belief applies throughout the ranks. “If you have a happy home life and you feel that you’re contributing to the level that you should be contributing, it obviously makes for a more wellrounded and full person to come to work every day,” she said. Vagell said leadership success requires understanding what makes colleagues tick. Rather than feeling a need to prove something upon walking into a room full of colleagues, Vagell recommends a different approach: “It’s less about proving yourself and more about understanding who is in the room. And it’s less about you showing them what drives you. It’s about you figuring out what drives them. And so, you have to be really unselfish in order to figure out how best to work with a team and to achieve your team goals. “At Lowe’s, we are dedicated to attracting a diverse team and associates,” Vagell said. “We recognize how important that is.”

Robbie Caudill

Margi Vagell


PEOPLE IN THE NEWS Billl Boltz, executive VP of merchandising at Lowe’s, has been selected to receive the City of Hope 2021 Spirit of Life Award. The award is presented annually to an industry leader who has demonstrated outstanding business and altruistic achievement. The Hardware and Homebuilding Industry group over the decades has raised $165 million Boltz for City of Hope, the Duarte, Calif.-based medical research and treatment facility.

Ace Hardware Corporation has promoted Alison Dowell to the role of president and general manager of Emery Jensen Distribution. Emery Jensen is a division of Ace Wholesale Holdings LLC, with Dowell previously serving as vice president of operations. Dowell will report to Ace Dowell Hardware’s chief merchandising and sales officer, John Surane.

Tampa-based Masonite International Corporation has appointed Jennifer Renaud as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Renaud joins Masonite with over 30 years of marketing and business development experience. Most recently, she served as vice president of marketing for Vertiv, a provider of infrastructure for data Renaud centers. Previously, Jennifer held marketing leadership roles at Oracle and Microsoft. 

MaterialsXchange, the Chicagobased B2B e-commerce platform for commodity raw materials has expanded its leadership team by adding industry veteran Paul Dean as the director of business development. Dean previously was CEO of Progressive Affiliated Dean Lumberman’s co-op, and was most recently EVP of LBM Advantage.

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HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER SEPTEMBER 2020

41


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) July: 1,496,000

NAICS 44413

(sales in $ billions)

50

1600

3

3.23

1500

43.3

40

1400

38.4

1300

(sales in $ billions)

43.1

2.64

2.40

2.36 2

34.8

34.6

30

2.62

40.3

3.08

1200

20

1100

1

1000

10

900

0

800

MAY

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

2019

SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

Single-family starts

JUNE

0

JULY

APRIL 2019

2020

MAY

JUNE

2020

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

(in thousands, SAAR) July, 940,000 1050

HBSDealer Stock Roundup

1000

the percent-change performance of stocks based on Aug. 20 prices

950 900

80

850

70

800

LOW

750

60

700

600

ANNUAL CHANGE

650

J A S O N D J F M A M J A SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

Existing-home sales (in millions, SAAR) July: 5,860,000 6

TSCO

50 BLDR

40

HD

30

SHW

20

5.5

4.5

BMC WY

SWK

10

5

BECN

DJI

0 0

4

5

10

15

20

25

30

MONTHLY CHANGE

3.5 3

DE

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

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

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)

8.0

10.0

4.0

80

42

Current Prior month

120

Prior year

16.0

10.2%

18.0

July 0.0

$2.50 $2.00

14.0

6.0

2.0

100

12.0

20.0

60

92.6

$2.19

July

Aug. 20

140

$1.50

SEPTEMBER 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

$3.00

SOURCES: LABOR DEPARTMENT, THE CONFERENCE BOARD, AAA

HBSDealer.com


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