Merger of LBM buying groups
LBM Advantage, a lumber and building material buying co-operative that was formed with the merger of ENAP and Progressive Affiliated Lumbermen (PAL), plans to merge again – this time with North Carolina-based Independent Builders Supply Association.
Pointing to strong dealer support throughout the East Coast, Midwest and Southern markets, LBM Advantage and IBSA announced their merger plans Thursday. The combined membership will span 34 states with 585 members and over one thousand lumber yards.
The expanded entity – to be called LBM Advantage — will add a Smithfield office (photo inset) to the existing three LBM Advantage operating offices in New Winsdor, New York; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Monroe, Louisiana.
Steve Sallah will remain president and CEO of LBM Advantage. Tim Johnson will be a vice president managing his current staff and membership base. Tim and Bob Carson, vice president of LBM Advantage, will oversee the growth and expansion of LBM Advantage in the South and Southwest.
“For forty years IBSA has built a strong reputation for service and value for its members; I am excited to partner with such a respected and experienced organization,” said Sallah. “I believe this transaction will bring immediate value to the members of Advantage and IBSA.”
The company will continue its philosophy of providing independent dealers the advantage of a national footprint supported by a strong regional presence as it continues its geographic expansion, according to the merger announcement.
The non-binding agreement requires approval by the shareholders of each cooperative as well as satisfactory completion of due diligence.
Also from the merger announcement:
• IBSA’s President Tim Johnson said: “The merger is a great fit and will improve the competitive posture of all our dealers. Our regions complement each other and the ability to execute National Buying Power with regional expertise will provide our dealers with enhanced competitive advantages while maintaining regional skills and market insights.”
• LBM Advantage Chairman Tim Lancaster, from Chelsea, Michigan said: “The benefits of this are easy to see. Both organizations will gain access to new products and markets. We saw the benefits of our 2016 merger, bringing our regional dealers together. By adding a strong Southeastern-based cooperative, we are both filling in regional voids and expanding our market strength.”
• IBSA Chairman Kent Berrier of Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Tuttle Lumber said: “By combining our resources we’ll have an opportunity to provide more value-added services and shared resources, including new technology. As consumers grow more digitally sophisticated, this will be imperative for our members.”
• Paul Dean, LBM Advantage’s executive VP said: “LBM Advantage’s continued expansion is the result of our strength in lumber & building materials, while allowing dealers to work with other hardlines groups and distributors regardless of affiliation."
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Stanley Black & Decker to buy Craftsman
Sears Holdings plans to sell its Craftsman brand to tool giant Stanley Black & Decker for $550 million cash up front, $250 million at the end of year three, plus various annual payments.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears said the move is part of an effort to stabilize its operating performance. The struggling retailer also intends to close an additional 150 non-profitable stores – 109 of them under the Kmart banner.
Sears will continue to sell Craftsman-branded products through a perpetual license deal, which will be royalty-free for the first 15 years, and royalty-bearing after that. Stanley will make annual payments to Sears Holdings of between 2.5% and 3.5% on new Stanley sales of Craftsman products through year 15. The total price tag has been described as about $900 million.
Stanley sees a significant opportunity to expand what President and CEO James Loree called “a legendary, American brand with tremendous consumer awareness built on a legacy of producing quality products at a great value.”
Currently, only about 10% of Craftsman-branded products are sold outside of Sears Holdings, and Stanley says it intends to penetrate these untapped channels.
Stanley pointed to channel expansion and revenue opportunities in the industrial channel, new and existing non-Sears retail and e-commerce channels, and lawn and garden channels.
"This agreement represents a significant opportunity to grow the market by increasing the availability of Craftsman products to consumers in previously underpenetrated channels,” said Loree. “We intend to invest in the brand and rapidly increase sales through these new channels, including retail, industrial, mobile and online.”
Among the non-Sears channels where Craftsman products are already being sold are Ace Hardware, thanks to a deal struck about six years ago between the co-op and Sears for distribution of Craftsman products in the convenience hardware channel, and Orchard Supply Hardware.
For Sears, the future will focus more on the Shop Your Way membership platform and an integrated retail strategy, said Edward Lampert, CEO of Sears Holdings.
"We are taking strong, decisive actions today to stabilize the company and improve our financial flexibility in what remains a challenging retail environment," said Lampert. "We are committed to improving short-term operating performance in order to achieve our long-term transformation."
"Going forward, Sears will be more focused on our Shop Your Way membership platform, a network with tens of millions of active members, and our Integrated Retail strategy in order to be a more nimble, innovative and relevant retailer that is better able to provide value and convenience to our customers. We are confident that concentrating on these key initiatives will lay the foundation for growth over the long-term."
Same-store sales at Sears and Kmart for the first two months of the fourth quarter have declined in the range of 12% to 13%, Sears said.
Stick a fork in them; they
Stick a fork in them; they will be done, "well done"! Stanley B-D cannot make up their mind about what they want to be & they will no doubt dummy down the great name & quality Craftsman stood for. Sad state of affairs. And as for the CEO of Sears has managed to ruin a good thing and continues to do so.
MoistureShield partners with Mid-State Lumber
A new distribution partnership will help bring MoistureShield decking to more customers in New England.
Inspired by increasing demand, MoistureShield has partnered with Mid-State Lumber to serve Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire from its Warwick, New York location.
Mid-State will carry MoistureShield’s full line of high performance decking, including cap stock and wood-plastic composite collections.
“Demand for MoistureShield is constantly growing in the Northeastern region of the country and New England,” said Brent Gwatney,senior VP MoistureShield Composite Decking. “In order to better serve our customers in the area, we are excited to partner with Mid-State Lumber, who is known for their quality product offering and excellent customer service.”
Mid-State Lumber is a local and regional wholesaler of building material products for the retail lumber dealer, and has been in operation since 1976. Its customer base spans the Mid-Atlantic and New England markets via three full service facilities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.
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