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Ace tops customer service survey

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware received the highest marks in customer service for the third quarter of 2008, according to RealPeopleRatings.com, a quarterly survey by Corporate Research International (CRI).

True Value ranked second in the survey; Lowe’s ranked third.

CRI, a market research firm specializing in mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys, sends the quarterly surveys as online opinion polls to its pool of panelists; 3,000 panelists participated in this quarter’s survey.

According to CRI, this survey emphasizes the importance of brand image and customer perception. Respondents were asked to rate their perception of each business’s customer service on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating. If a respondent did not have experience with the business, the panelist did not enter a score for that establishment.

“It’s increasingly important in today’s marketplace for companies to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction to keep their customers coming back,” said Michael Mallett, CEO of Corporate Research International.

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Builders FirstSource posts $19 million loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Builders FirstSource reported a net loss of $18.9 million for its third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, 2008, an improvement over the previous quarter’s loss of $45.9 million. The net loss for the third quarter of 2007 was $12 million.

Sales for the third fiscal quarter were $288.3 million, a 30.3 percent drop from sales of $413.9 million in the same quarter last year.

The company said it closed two facilities during the third quarter, although it did not specify where. Last week, Builders FirstSource announced it had exited the New Jersey market by shuttering five facilities: a distribution center, a manufacturing facility and three showrooms. Altogether, these closures will add $5 million to $7 million in liquidity in 2009, according to the company.

“We are more than two years into the downturn, and our cash remains strong at $131.2 million,” said CEO Floyd Sherman in a prepared statement. “Accordingly, we believe we are well positioned to withstand the challenging conditions facing our industry.”

Ranked No. 9 on the Home Channel News Top 350 Pro Dealer List, Builders FirstSource operates 61 lumberyards in 11 states.

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HCN Index limps into the weekend

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The HCN Stock Index declined 4.68 percent on Friday to finish the week at 646.58. Since Monday, the index has steadily deteriorated, shedding 14.2 percent in four straight days of downward movement.

Also on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 3.59 percent, dropping 312.3 points to finish at 8,378.95.

Among the 20 home channel companies on the HCN index, BMHC suffered the highest percent decline on Friday – 40.9 percent. It finished the day at $0.42, after announcing the day before that it would no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Other big decliners were BlueLinx, down 9.1 percent; Fastenal, down 8.0 percent; and Builders FirstSource, down 7.74 percent.

Shares of Louisiana Pacific rose 20 cents to $3.48, a 6.1 percent gain.

 

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