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84 Lumber reports 2007 sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

84 Lumber has reported $3.1 billion in revenues for 2007, a 24 percent drop from its sales in 2006.

The industry’s largest privately owned chain of lumberyards, which ranked third on HCN’s Top 350 Pro Dealer list, reduced its head count by 175 positions at its headquarters over the past 12 months. Approximately 850 additional employees have been cut at other locations.

The Eighty Four, Pa.-based company has closed 22 stores since 2005, although some of these were relocations or near a new 84 Lumber store, said Jeff Nobers, vp-corporate communications.

“Our goal is to continue to grow market share,” Nobers told HCN. The company intends to open 10 new locations in 2008, Nobers said, pinpointing Illinois, Wisconsin, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida and California. Two of the pro dealer’s locations, in Annapolis, Md., and Clarksville, Del., are undergoing extensive renovations that will double or triple their size and add showrooms and warehouse space. Nobers added: “They will be, in effect, new stores.”

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Wal-Mart implements packaging ‘scorecard’

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bentonville Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores will begin using a new packaging “scorecard” for suppliers today in an effort to track suppliers’ “progress towards using sustainable packaging.”

The program was first introduced by the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006 and was put through a trial phase last year. The company said it hopes the new scorecard will help it reach a goal of using 5 percent less packaging by 2013.

“The packaging scorecard helps everyone make better decisions that are good for business, our customers and the environment,” explained Matt Kistler, senior vp-sustainability at Wal-Mart. “It’s important to us that our suppliers see the intrinsic value behind sustainability, both for their business and the environment.”

As of Jan. 30, the company had more than 97,000 items entered into its scorecard by more than 6,000 vendors.

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Home Depot lays off 10 percent of staff at headquarters

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has announced layoffs of about 500 employees at its Atlanta-based headquarters — 10 percent of the staff there, according to the company.

The reductions were from departments “across the organization and touching every functional area,” Home Depot spokesperson Ron DeFeo told HCN.

“We’re clearly operating in a tough business environment,” DeFeo said. “We started talking about that in 2007, and we were very honest in saying we expected to see this continuing into 2008 (in recent financial statements). We have a firm commitment in investing in our stores. In order to do that, we need to make some changes.”

The layoffs were only at the company’s headquarters and do not affect distribution centers or stores. The laid-off workers will receive pay for 60 days, the company said.

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