It’s always been hard to ignore Home Depot, even for pro dealers who feel insulated from the Atlanta retailer. With more than 2,000 retail locations, there’s usually a big orange box near any job site for fill-in orders or quick runs.
But the competition from the world’s largest home center got more serious in 2005, when the Atlanta retailer purchased Williams Bros., a 16-unit chain of Atlanta-area lumberyards, and announced its intention to roll up other pro dealers under the HD Supply banner. By the time 2006 was over, HD Supply had purchased Forest Products Supply, a lumber, hardwoods and millwork dealer in Sarasota, Fla., and Cox Lumber, a St. Petersburg., Fla.-based dealer with 11 truss plants, 15 door shops and 28 lumberyards.
All three pro dealers have grown in size since their acquisition, and now a group of private investment firms are buying HD Supply. What the new owners will do remains to be seen, but HD Supply has taken its place on HCN’s Top 350 Pro Dealer list this year. Home Depot does not break out revenues by divisions, so HCN editors estimated sales by looking at previous years’ figures, analyzing building activity in the local markets, and talking to people familiar with the companies.
The result? The $12.1 billion division had an estimated $875 million in lumber and building materials sales in 2006, placing HD Supply in 11th place on the Pro Dealer Top 350 Scoreboard.