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Kuiken Brothers breaks ground on ninth location

BY Brae Canlen

Kuiken Brothers, the eight-unit chain of New Jersey lumberyards and design centers, broke ground on a lumberyard last month in Succasunna, N.J., a community in Roxbury Township. The 12-acre facility, built on the site of a Wickes lumberyard destroyed in a fire many years ago, will encompass 130,000 square feet of covered storage. Kuiken Brothers already operates a 6,000-square-foot design center, KB Concepts, on the same site.

“This has been on the drawing board for five years,” company president Doug Kuiken told Home Channel News. “There aren’t many sites in New Jersey where you can get approval to build a lumberyard with outdoor storage.” The drive-through facility will carry dimensional lumber, panels, engineered wood products, windows, doors, decking and other building materials. Because of its centralized location, the new lumberyard will serve Kuiken’s customer base—primarily custom builders and remodelers—in five New Jersey counties.

The Succasunna yard also includes a rail spur that has been inactive for more than a decade. Kuiken intends to use rail service to purchase lumber directly from mills, making Succasunna a distribution point for the chain’s other lumberyards.

Last month’s ground breaking follows on the heels of a June acquisition, where Kuiken Brothers purchased Lumber 1, a home center in Roseland, N.J. “We look at geographic areas and territories that would add to the overall value of what we do,” explained Kuiken. “Lumber 1 was in a new market for us. It [marked] our first entry into Essex County.”

Ranked No. 58 on the HCN Top 350 Pro Dealer Scoreboard, Kuiken Brothers serves the northern New Jersey and southern New York markets from Fair Lawn, Emers on, Midland Park, Ogdensburg, Wantage, Garfield, Succasunna, Roseland and Warwick. Revenues in 2007 were $130 million.

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Former Westlake execs open True Value store

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Former Westlake Ace Hardware executives Brian Richards and Scott Westlake have formed their own True Value hardware chain, called SCW. The first store opened Aug. 30 in Overland Park, Kan.

Called Nuts and Bolts, the store is 51,000 square feet, about three times the size of a traditional True Value outlet. A second, 28,000-square-foot Nuts and Bolts is set to open sometime in September in Independence, Mo.

Both stores are based on the Destination True Value format, which emphasizes small projects and offers a broad product selection in core hardware categories that can be adapted to the needs of the individual store.

In addition to the traditional hardware departments, Nuts and Bolts offers a 4,000-square-foot customer service center where customers can get glass and keys cut, window screens repaired and knifes and scissors sharpened. The store has about 40 employees.

Richards, the company president, spent more than 30 years with Westlake — a 90-store chain with stores in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico — before partnering with Scott Westlake, the grandson of Westlake Ace’s founder.

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Toll Brothers posts third-quarter loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Toll Brothers, one of the nation’s largest home builders with a specialty in luxury homes, saw third-quarter losses of $29.3 million, plummeting from earnings of $26.5 million in the same period last year.

The Horsham, Pa.-based builder recorded a hefty $139.4 million pre-tax charge, $33.4 million of which was attributed to failed joint venture agreements. For the first nine months of the fiscal year, the builder has generated losses totaling $219 million.

Home-building revenues totaled $1.24 billion in the third quarter, down 31 percent from $1.8 billion in the same period last year.

Robert Toll, chairman and CEO for Toll Brothers, pulled no punches in his assessment of the results: “We are now completing the third year of the worst housing market since we started in 1967,” he said.

“Weak consumer confidence has kept many potential buyers from taking advantage of the current buyers’ market,” he noted. “We believe that most big public builders have sold off most of their inventory, which eventually should help stabilize home prices. However, we currently have to contend with foreclosures as the new low-priced competition.”

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