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Container Store plans expansion into Canada

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Coppell, Texas-based specialty retailer Container Store has said it will expand its e-commerce business into Canada and will begin offering in-home installation of its Elfa shelving and drawer systems, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.

The privately held company will also open about 29 stores over the next five years. Currently, the retailer has 42 stores throughout the country, with the most recently opened location in Little Rock, Ark.

According to the article, Container Store is testing the Canadian market for expansion through its new e-commerce site, which is set to go live in April.

Further stores are planned in the United States in Scottsdale, Ariz., slated to be opened this summer; and in Edina, Minn., and Cincinnati in the fall. The stores, which carry a broad range of mid- to high-end storage products, are approximately 22,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.

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ProBuild acquires truss manufacturers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

ProBuild Holdings, continuing to ride a wave of recent acquisitions, has purchased the assets of Northeast Panel & Truss and Collins Truss Systems, manufacturers of roof and floor trusses and wall panels.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kingston, N.Y.-based Northeast Panel & Truss is a full service manufacturer of truss and wall panels. Founded in 2000, the company has built a distribution network into the Hudson Valley, a market ProBuild currently serves from 10 locations.  

“This acquisition allows ProBuild to extend our truss capabilities to national and regional builders in our Hudson Valley markets,” explained Buddy Ables, president of ProBuild’s East region.

“Our people are looking forward to becoming an important extension of the Hudson Valley ProBuild team, an organization that will provide our employees with long-term growth opportunities,” added Ed Collins, owner of Northeast Panel & Truss and Collins Truss Systems.

ProBuild Holdings currently operates more than 560 lumber and building product distribution, manufacturing and assembly centers in 41 states.

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BMHC posts $331.3 million loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Building Materials Holding Corp. (BMHC), the industry’s fourth largest pro dealer, reported a loss of $331.3 million for its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, 2007. This compares to net income of $4.5 million for the same quarter a year ago.

Sales for the San Francisco-based company were $419 million for the fourth quarter, a 30 percent decrease from $597 million in the corresponding period of 2006.

Net loss for the year was $312.7 million, compared to net income of $102.1 million for fiscal 2006. Annual sales declined 29 percent, from $3.2 billion in 2006 to $2.3 billion in 2007.

In a prepared statement, the company announced two “major programs” to consolidate and streamline its business. Both divisions of the company, BMC West and SelectBuild, “are under review, and specific market realignment plans are being prepared for execution in the coming weeks and months,” the statement said. “We are proceeding quickly to close unnecessary facilities and eliminate unneeded assets.”

BMHC stopped short of saying that SelectBuild, its construction services division, will be absorbed back into the company. But the announcement’s second realignment program made reference to “flattening SelectBuild’s management structure” and “accelerated centralization and integration of SelectBuild.”

Newly appointed president and COO Stanley Wilson, who served as president and CEO of BMC West, will now oversee both divisions.

Investors had been anxiously awaiting BMHC’s fourth-quarter results, which were released later than usual. The company did not schedule the customary conference call with analysts to discuss its earnings.

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