The Top 300 ride again

For retailers that sell to homeowners or home builders, last year marked a period of solid results.

No matter how you slice them, the numbers of the HCN Top 300 Industry Scoreboard reflect the rising housing market, increased spending on the home and an easy comparison with the previous year's performance.

Of the leading 300 home channel retailers, 277 show positive sales in the most recently completed finished fiscal year, and 12 show declines. Eleven others are listed as flat.

To download the full list of Top 300 retailers, sponsored by the National Hardware Show, click here


Key findings from the research:

• The 300 companies on the Top 300 Scoreboard generated home improvement sales of $214.2 billion in 2012, an increase of 4.6% compared with the same companies' total from 2011.

• Gainers beat decliners by more than 23 to 1.

• Excluding the national home center chains and Walmart, which rank 1 through 4, sales of companies ranked 5 through 300 totaled $58.85 billion — up 10.6%.

The Top 300 list was dominated by LBM dealers, with 171 representatives; Paint stores, 17; Lawn & garden, 12; Home decor, 16; Home center, 50; Hardware store, 16; and Farm & ranch, 18.

Here are the top five revenue leaders from each sector and the sales growth of each sectors' combined representatives on the HCN Top 300:

LBM(sector: up 13.5%)

• ProBuild (No. 8) • 84 Lumber (No. 11)

• Builders FirstSource (No. 13)

• Stock Building Supply (No. 15) • BMC (No. 17)

Skinny: The LBM field dominated the Top 300, with 171 representatives. The big are getting better: Both Builders FirstSource and BMC showed year-over-year gains of more than 30%.

Farm & Ranch(sector: up 9.3%)

• Tractor Supply (No. 7) • Rural King Supply (No. 21)

• Orscheln Farm and Home (No. 25) • Atwood (No. 26)

• Bomgaars Supply (No. 34)

Skinny: It was another growing year for the farm and ranch sector, where Tractor Supply continues to pace the field — up 10.2% to $4.66 billion in sales.

Hardware Store(sector: up 5.7%)

• Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores (No. 9)

• Harbor Freight Tools (No. 10)

• Northern Tool + Equipment (No. 14)

• Orchard Supply (No. 20)

• Westlake Ace Hardware (No. 32)

Skinny: For the first time, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores makes its appearance on the Top 300. Harbor Freight, purveyor of low price-point, private-label brands online and in store, continues to ramp up its presence — now at 440 stores.

Home Centers(sector: up 2.8%)

• Home Depot (No. 1) • Lowe's (No. 2)

• Sears Holdings (No. 3)

• Walmart (No. 4) • Menards (No. 5)

Skinny: The top five home centers rank 1 through 5 on the Top 300. Their combined sales of $165 billion is more than three times the total sales of companies ranked 6 through 300.

Home Décor & flooring(sector: up 11.6%)

• Lumber Liquidators (No. 18) • Great Floors (No. 87)

• Avalon Carpet Tile & Flooring (No. 97)

• Airbase Carpet Mart (No. 132)

• Western Wholesale Flooring (No. 161)

Skinny: There's a long distance between first and second in the flooring category, where Lumber Liquidators showed the largest sales volume ($813.3 million) and the largest sales increase (up 19.3%) by a long shot.

Lawn & Garden(sector: up 9.6%)

• Armstrong Garden Centers (No. 92)

• Bachman's (No. 104) • Stein Garden & Gifts (No. 110)

• Star Nursery (No. 140) • Meadows Farms (No. 148)

Skinny: Conditions were ripe for sales gain in the lawn and garden category in 2012, with an early and extended spring. Companies faced no such good fortune in 2013, which could make next year's scoreboard comparisons somewhat painful.

Paint Stores(sector up 17.2%)

• Sherwin-Williams (No. 6) • PPG (No. 22)

• Kelly-Moore Paint (No. 37) • Frazee Paint (No. 41)

• Dunn-Edwards Corp. (No. 51)

Skinny: Sherwin-Williams' Paint Store group was up double digits, crossing the $5 billion barrier.

Fastest-growing Top 300

The following companies showed the biggest percentage gain over prior-year sales:

  1. Kodiak Building Partners (No. 113), up 300%
  2. CNRG (No. 84), up 222%
  3. PPG (No. 22), up 175%
  4. Building Solutions (No. 281), up 82.1%
  5. Matheus Lumber (No. 56), up 45.3%



  • 1. Home Depot: Company reports for total company sales.
  • 2. Lowe's: Company reports for total company sales.
  • 3. Sears Holdings: Reported combined sales of "Hardlines" merchandise for Kmart and Sears Domestic. Employee count is pro-rated with sales.
  • 4. Walmart:HCN sales estimate is based on assumption that home improvement sales make up 5% of total Walmart U.S. Stores sales. Employee count is pro-rated with sales.
  • 6. Sherwin Williams: Company report for paint store division only.
  • 9. Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores: Company reports. Formerly a division of Sears Holdings.
  • 12. sales estimate is based on assumption that home improvement sales make up 2% of total sales.
  • 22. PPG Architectural Finishes: Acquired 300 U.S. stores from AkzoNobel, including Glidden brand stores. Acquisition was completed April 2013.
  • 24. US LBM Holdings: Brands include Bellevue Builders Supply, Edward Hines Lumber, East Have Builders Supply, H&H Lumber, Myers & Son, Millwood Lumber, The Kitchen Factor, Universal Supply Co., Wisconsin Building Supply, Lyman Companies, Carpentry Contractors Co., Automated Building Components and Shelly's.
  • 32. Westlake Ace Hardware: Acquired by Oak Brook, III.-based Ace Hardware Corp. in December 2012 for $88 million. Previously owned by private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison.
  • 76. ACO: Closed 14 underperforming stores in 2013.
  • 84. CNRG: Central Network Retail Group brands include Lumber Center, Elliott's Hardware, Home Hardware Center, Harvey Home & Hardware NFL Home Center, Town & Country Hardware, Habersham Hardware & Home Center and Town & Country Farm & Hardware.

The Home Channel News Industry Scoreboard research project combines Web surveys, phone surveys and industry estimates to create the HCN Top 300 rankings of retailers that sell to homeowners and home builders. The Scoreboard Series includes the HCN Top 200, ranking pro dealers; and the HCN Top 100, ranking two-step hardlines and LBM distributors. For more information, visit


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