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Forge Lumber earns industry award

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Forge Lumber of Cincinnati has been named Independent Pro Dealer of the Year by Home Channel News.

Serving the Greater Cincinnati area with two locations — one in Cincinnati and one in Erlanger, Ky. — Forge Lumber was one of a handful of lumberyard companies across the country to show strong 2009 sales gains on the HCN Top 350 Scoreboard. The company manages a successful installed sales and construction services program, and earns customer loyalty with a commitment to service.

“We’re very honored to receive this award,” said Eric Steinman, executive VP of Forge Lumber. “It reflects the strong work ethic of all of our team members. And we’re also very optimistic that we can continue to grow with our customers.”

“Forge Lumber is an example of a small business with a great understanding of its market and a commitment to its customers,” said Ken Clark, editor in chief of Home Channel News. “It’s run by an experienced team, and their performance speaks for itself.” The company’s sales increased 25% in a difficult 2009 building environment.

Forge Lumber has also engaged customers by embracing green building by receiving chain-of-custody certification through the Forest Stewardship Council.

The award ceremony will take place at the 2010 ProDealer Industry Summit, held in conjunction with the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, Oct. 13 to 15 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

The Pro Dealer of the Year Awards Dinner, now in its 14th year, will be sponsored by iLevel by Weyerhaeuser. The event will also recognize Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Marjam Supply Co.

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Maryland hosts lawn mower exchange

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hundreds of homeowners showed up to exchange their gas-powered lawn mower for a greener battery-powered one at the Great Maryland Lawn Mower Exchange of 2010, which took place in downtown Baltimore Aug. 13, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The event was held to garner awareness for the environmental impact gas-powered lawn mowers have, and was co-sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment and Clean Air Partners, a nonprofit coalition of area governments.

The Lawn Mower Exchange also provided information about the environmental damage gas-powered lawn mowers can have, and provided significant discounts on battery-powered lawn mowers when a gas-powered mower was exchanged.

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Lowe’s sales and earnings up in Q2

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s reported second-quarter net earnings of $832 million, a 9.6% increase from $759 million reported for the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter ended July 30 increased 3.7% to $14.4 billion, up from $13.8 billion in the second quarter of 2009.

The company also reported comparable-store sales for the second quarter increased 1.6% and for the first half of 2010 increased 2%.

“Despite economic uncertainty, our continued focus on the customer and prudent expense management yielded solid results for the quarter,” said Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO. “With limited visibility into near-term demand, we continue to focus on operational efficiency to create value for our shareholders. Longer term, we believe improvements in labor and housing markets will be necessary to support more consistent improvement in demand for home improvement products.”

During the quarter, Lowe’s opened four stores and closed one. The company currently operates 1,724 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, a 2% increase over last year.

Looking forward into the third quarter, the company said it expects to open approximately 12 new stores, representing a growth of 2%. The company expects third-quarter sales to increase 3% to 5% and expects comparable-store sales to increase 1% to 3%.

For the full year, the company expects to open 40 to 45 stores. Total sales for the year are expected to increase approximately 4% and comparable-store sales to increase approximately 2%.

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