The Lumber Yard announces new business model, consolidation
The Lumber Yard, a pro dealer serving five Mid-Atlantic States, has announced a restructuring plan that will expand its operations in several strategic locations, but also will result in nine closings elsewhere.
Called The Lumber Yard XL, the new business model will create five “super yards” in Whitehall, Pa.; Downingtown, Pa.; York, Pa.; Hagerstown, Md.; and Winchester, Va. Each location will offer a Design Center, as well as 60 percent more inventory and 50 percent more delivery equipment than the company’s existing locations, the announcement said. More staff and longer hours of operation will boost service levels, allowing The Lumber Yard to offer a $100 credit if deliveries are not on time, complete and correct, according to the company.
The XL program will also retain four existing locations that will function as convenience lumberyards and sales offices in Carlisle, Pa.; Gettysburg, Pa.; Eldersburg, Md.; and Bel Air, Md. The company will operate a showroom at each of these locations, bringing the total number of Design Centers to nine.
Construction on the new showrooms has been underway for the past few months, and some are already completed. Wolf Organization, the parent company of The Lumber Yard, will invest more than $2.5 million in developing the design centers, which are being modeled after the flagship showroom at company headquarters in York, Pa. Expansion work on the super yards has also begun, according to Len Kopec, CEO of Wolf Organization.
“This is a new logistical model [that] we’ve been working on for some time,” Kopec told HCN. “In today’s environment, it makes more sense to concentrate your inventory, your equipment, your services and your people. We can move material over distances and get it to [customers] when and where they want it.”
The Lumber Yard, listed as “Wolf Organization,” is ranked 42nd on HCN’s Pro Dealer Top 350. The company had revised 2006 sales of $147 million.
Ferguson to open Florida showroom
Newport News, Va.-based plumbing supply distributor Ferguson announced it will be opening a new showroom in Melbourne, Fla.
The 10,000 square-foot showroom will feature a gallery displaying new and trendy kitchen and bath products including kitchen and bath fixtures, appliances, lighting and fireplaces. Consultants also will be available at the showroom to help customers customize their kitchen and bath renovations.
The showroom is not only geared toward Ferguson’s professional base of architects, contractors and designers, but to homeowners as well, the pro dealer said in a statement.
Ferguson is a division of England-based Wolseley, which also owns and operates Stock Building Supply.
Akzo Nobel adds incentives in takeover quest for ICI
The ongoing takeover quest of ICI Paints by Netherlands-based coatings giant Akzo Nobel will continue into November, when both companies hold discussions with shareholders about the proposed buyout deal.
ICI, with a corporate parent based in the United Kingdom, has a large North American presence with brands including Dulux, Glidden and Liquid Nails. The company was No. 16 on HCN’s Top 500 list of home channel retailers, following estimated 2006 sales at ICI’s retail stores of $1.8 billion.
Akzo has upped its bid for ICI to about $16 billion and has expressed confidence in receiving shareholder backing for the bid. To further woo its own investors, Akzo announced this week it would raise dividend payouts by 15 cents and give $3 billion back to investors by 2009.
“This is a year of incredible transformation,” said Akzo chairman Hans Wijers in a statement. “We are fully on track in creating one of the world’s leading industrial companies. We have a strong portfolio of businesses in attractive growth markets and, coupled with the synergies of the ICI integration … we should be able to outgrow our markets.”
Akzo manufactures paints and coatings under the names Crown, Sikken and Schoenox, among others, with operations in 60 countries.