Here’s the 2017 NLBMDA Policy Agenda
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) today released its national legislative and regulatory policy agenda for 2017. The document brings focus to the common interests of the industry and includes policy goals for continued growth in the nation's housing and building industry.
"Lumber and building material dealers continue to play an important role in furthering America's economic growth as part of the building supply chain and residential housing sector," said NLBMDA Chair George W. Lester II, Chairman and CEO of The Lester Group in Martinsville, Virginia. "The 2017 NLBMDA National Policy Agenda provides a common-sense, pro-business framework that eliminates unnecessary regulatory burdens, and promotes sound fiscal policies needed for sustained economic expansion."
NLBMDA is working with the new Congress and Trump Administration to advance policies that will strengthen small businesses and protect the many multi-generational family-owned businesses in the industry. The association's agenda includes our industry's positions on: housing & construction; tax & economic policy; legal reform & consumer protection; workforce policy; environment, health, & safety; product supply & trade; energy; transportation; and highway safety.
NLBMDA's 2017 National Policy Agenda will be distributed to members of Congress and key Administration officials and will be used by NLBMDA members when they visit their members of Congress during the NLBMDA Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference on March 27-29 in Washington, D.C.
Click here for the policy agenda document.
For 84 Lumber, the hits (and hates) keep coming
The 84 Lumber Entire Journey YouTube video, which takes the lumberyard’s immigration-themed, 90-second Super Bowl ad and runs with it for a full 5 minutes and 44 seconds, has garnered more than 10 million views on YouTube as of Wednesday afternoon.
Adweek called the ending of 84 Lumber’s uncensored Super Bowl commercial “beautiful and provocative.”
The extended-cut video concluded with the phrase: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.” The stated mission of the ad was to position 84 Lumber as a company of opportunity for the next generation of the housing industry.
On YouTube, thumbs up outnumbered thumbs down by a score of 83,617 to 28,062. Still, as expected, there were quite a few negative comments in the blogosphere, mostly by those who interpreted the ad as a celebration of illegal immigration — a point the company was quick to deny in a tweet of its own:
— 84 Lumber Company (@84LumberNews) February 7, 2017
Other tweets ran the gamut from full-throttled support to venomous opposition. Here's a sampling:
— Gen. Robert E Lee (@Suthen_boy) February 7, 2017
— ScottEvon (@ScottEvon) February 6, 2017
— Xavier Gonzalez Jr. (@xgonzalezjr) February 6, 2017
— Carrie Welborn (@CarrieWelborn) February 6, 2017
84 Lumber is making a statement on Mexican immigration in its #SuperBowl ad, we are just not quite sure what that is exactly…
— Ad Age (@adage) February 6, 2017
Meredith Klein, public relations account supervisor for 84 Lumber agency Brunner, said online viewership for all the campaign's videos has crossed the 15 million mark, and the reaction has been predictably diverse — "a lot of conversation, both for and against."
She added: "It's an important conversation to have and we hope the commercial has helped to humanize what has become a very divisive issue. At the end of the day, these are people and families we're talking about."
Throwback Thursday: Erb Lumber’s big comeback
Back in the early 1980s, Erb Lumber president Fred Erb was guiding his Birmingham, Michigan-based chain of 29 stores through one of the home center industry’s most volatile periods.
As reported in the July 16, 1984 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, Erb Lumber’s new 140,000 sq. ft. distribution center was just one of the projects on the company’s plate. Erb Lumber was also moving to unify its merchandising approach – a task made difficult by the wide variety of footprints in the chain, which had grown largely through acquisitions.
What kind of merchandising did he have in mind?
“I’m talking about the kind where you walk into the store and the presentation tells you to buy,” said Erb.
A slowdown in housing starts in 1980 and 1981 hurt Erb Lumber, which saw a 75% drop in net income over that period. But 1983 came witha 154% rebound.
Erb explained in 1984 that the company needed to expand its sales with consumers.
A prototype in Detroit revealed some of the ideas that would play a role: expanded kitchen cabinet displays, bathroom vanity and paint departments visible from the front door, a trebling of the number of endcaps storewide, the covering of the inside walls of the store with cedar pine boards, and longer evening operating hours.
Erb's strategy and execution paid off in growth – the company had 45 stores in 1993. That’s the year that the family sold the business to Carolina Holdings, which later became Stock Building Supply, and even later became BMC Stock Holdings.
Erb was a remarkable figure in the home improvement industry and a respected philanthropist in Detroit even after his business years. He died in 2013 at the age of 90.