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Marvin’s expands in Alabama

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Leeds, Ala.-based Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers will open a new store in Monroeville, Ala., this spring. The store will be the company’s 27th home center and will be built on the site of a former Food World grocery store.

The new, 35,000-sq.-ft. store is expected to be open for business in late May. The location will include an attached lawn and garden center and drive-through lumberyard.

“We’ve been working toward the goal of opening a store to serve Monroeville for quite some time," said Marvin’s CEO Darrin Gilliam. "Our research indicates we will capture a great deal of sales that are currently being served outside of Monroe County."

Marvin’s will hire 25 or more associates to work in the new store. "We like to hire friendly people from the community. All of our stores have a ‘hometown’ feel," Gilliam said.

The new store in Monroeville is the one of two new stores Marvin’s is planning to open in 2011. Marvin’s currently operates 26 stores in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.  Marvin’s was named the 2010 Retailer of the Year by Home Channel News.

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Armstrong hits 100 million-mark in ceiling recycling program

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Armstrong World Industries, a leading manufacturer of acoustical ceilings, has announced that its ceiling recycling program has now diverted more than 100 million sq. ft. of old ceiling tiles from landfills.

The Lancaster, Pa., company enables building owners and contractors to ship ceilings from renovation projects to the nearest Armstrong ceiling plant. Under the program, the company pays the freight costs for shipping the old ceilings, which it uses as raw materials in the manufacture of new ceilings.

Armstrong has recycled more than 50,000 tons of discarded mineral fiber ceiling tiles since the program was introduced in 1999. This represents more than 14,000 dumpsters full of construction waste that would have normally been taken to landfills.

Among the companies and organizations that have participated in the recycling program are Microsoft, Pfizer, Nike, Food Lion, National Security Agency, The World Bank, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Penn State University.

According to Joann Davis-Brayman, VP marketing for commercial ceilings, the process for recycling old ceilings has proven to be nearly as fast as dumping them, so the program has little impact on construction schedules. It also can be less costly than dumping because it eliminates landfill fees, container costs and the expense associated with transportation to the landfill, she said.

For more information on ceiling recycling, call (877) 276-7876 or visit armstrong.com/recycling.

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Shipping costs expected to rise amid political turmoil

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to grow 11% in March, compared with the same month a year ago, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

“These numbers show solid increases over last year and are evidence that our nation’s economic recovery is continuing to build momentum,” said Jonathan Gold, VP supply chain and customs policy at NRF. “Increases in imports are a clear sign that retailers expect sales to continue to climb in the next several months.”

But the climb in imports may soon be accompanied by a rise in shipping costs due to political turmoil in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere, according to Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett.

“Oil supply is going down as a number of nations have dropped out of the production cycle,” Hackett said. “Freight rates have been decreasing, but that will not last long as fuel costs are factored in.”

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.2 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in January, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. (One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.) That was up 5% from December and 12% from January 2010. It was the 14th month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement after December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of year-over-year declines.

February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, was estimated at 1.12 million TEU, which would represent an increase of 12% over February 2010. March is forecast at 1.19 million TEU, up 11% from a year ago.  

The first half of 2011 is forecast at 7.5 million TEU, up 9% from the first half of 2010. For the full year, 2010 totaled 14.7 million TEU, a 16% increase over 2009. Last year’s percentages were high because 2009’s 12.7 million TEU was the lowest level seen since 2003.

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