An LBM chain that has been eroding away in California’s Inland Empire is set to close another location, this one in West Covina. At one time Barr Lumber had seven locations in southeastern California, but according to the Sun Gabriel Valley Tribune, stores in San Bernardino and Apple Valley have also closed.
Owner John Shirley purchased the West Covina location in 2008, when it was Pick's Building Materials. While recognizing that housing starts in Riverside and San Bernardino were plummeting, Shirley remained interested in Pick's because it served a number of commercial/industrial businesses.
“In this business, you have to take the opportunities that come along to expand,” Shirley told Home Channel News at the time of the purchase. “The long-range opportunities make it worth the risk."
The economic downturn in the Inland Valley continues unabated however. Unemployment in July was 14.3%.