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Orgill to break ground on Midwest distribution center in August

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Orgill, the Memphis-based hardware and home improvement distributor, will break ground next month on a 795,000-square-foot distribution center in Sikeston, Mo. The facility, which can be expanded to one million square feet, will be built on a 70-acre site.

Called the “Mid-America SuperCenter,” the warehouse will replace two older Orgill facilities in Memphis and Vandalia, Ill. “The plan all along has been to consolidate those two facilities into one,” explained Byrne Whitehead, Orgill’s executive vp-operations and chief operating officer.

Located halfway between St. Louis and Memphis, the Sikeston DC will be able to serve Orgill customers throughout the Midwest and mid-South regions. Orgill has also designated this facility as a flow through center for its import containers coming through the Port of Long Beach, Calif.

Orgill evaluated two sites in Illinois and four in Missouri before choosing Sikeston, according to Whitehead. The company is also scouting out locations for a new distribution center in the Pacific Northwest and hopes to begin construction on a new facility by May 2009.

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Builder confidence hits record low

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell to a record low of 16 in July, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It was the third consecutive month the index declined, and the 16 replaced the previous record low of 18 in June.

The index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as either “good,” “fair” or “poor.”

The HMI’s three components also hit record lows in July. The index gauging current sales conditions declined one point to 16; the index gauging sales expectations in the next months fell four points to 23, and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers also receded four points to 12.

“Builders are reporting that traffic of prospective buyers has fallen off substantially in recent months,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.

All but one region showed declines in builder confidence in July. The Midwest declined 6 points to 10, its lowest HMI score since the regional detail was introduced in December of 2004, while the West matched a record low set in January 2008 with its three-point decline to 13. The South posted a one-point decline to 20. The Northeast was the only region to post a gain in July, rising two points to 14 from the previous month’s record low of 12.

NAHB president Sandy Dunn, a home builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va., advocated on behalf of the trade group for several additional reforms to help stimulate the housing market – namely, Congressional action on a housing bill that would provide a temporary tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers, with the aim of “helping to stimulate sales, reduce the inventory of unsold homes on the market, stabilize house prices and arrest the rapid deterioration of mortgage credit quality.”

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Universal Forest Products names new director

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Universal Forest Products has named Bill Payne to its board of directors, effective April 2009, to replace outgoing board chairman emeritus Peter Secchia, who will retire next year.

Payne currently serves as chief of staff for Alticor Inc.; he formerly worked in sales and marketing at the company’s Amway Corp. branch.

“He brings well-cultivated business skills, a strong aptitude for strategy and an understanding of our company, business and culture,” said UFP executive chairman William Currie in a statement.

As chief of staff for Alticor, the parent company of Amway Corp., Quixtar North America / Amway Global Inc., Access Business Group LLC and Alticor Corporate Enterprises, Payne works with Alticor’s office of the CEO “on priority projects and oversees day-to-day management of the global Alticor enterprise,” according to a statement.

Universal Forest Products markets, manufactures and engineers wood and wood-alternative products for a number of home building and home improvement applications.

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