84 Lumber consolidates in six markets

84 Lumber closed nine stores today as part of a consolidation plan in six markets. The shuttered units whose operations will be moved to nearby locations are: Frederick and Seabrook, Md.; Omaha, Neb.; Covington, Ga.; Loveland, Colo.; Tampa and Sarasota, Fla.

The company closed its Sacramento, Calif., store and truss plant on March 17. Customers of that location will be serviced out of Auburn, Calif., which was expanded last year, and 84 Lumber will contract with a third party truss fabricator.

The industry’s third largest pro dealer has also closed its location in Santa Rosa, Calif., thereby exiting the market, according to today’s announcement.

“Housing starts [in Santa Rosa] have been woefully low for the past six months,” said Jeff Nobers, vp-marketing and public relations. “It’s an older, smaller store, so it really didn’t fit our model.”

Frank Cicero, executive vp-store operations, said the consolidations will “give us a stronger and more efficient presence in markets that have exhibited strong growth in the past, and that we believe will post high growth again when the housing market turns around.”

In the interim, the company has been forced to make further job cuts at its Eighty Four, Pa.-based headquarters. Last week, 28 employees were let go, 15 unfilled positions were eliminated and 20 employees have taken other positions.

In the privately held company’s most recent financial statement, released last month, 84 Lumber reported revenues of $3.1 billion for 2007, a 21 percent drop from its revenues in 2006. It reduced its head count by 175 positions at its headquarters during that time period. Approximately 850 additional employees were cut at other locations.

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