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ProBuild to close 20 locations

BY HBSDEALER Staff

ProBuild Holdings, the nation’s largest LBM chain, is closing 20 locations in various locations across the country by the end of the month, Home Channel News has learned.

News of the closures first surfaced at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, which was notified by ProBuild of impending layoffs at its Jackson, Wis., yard. A news item posted on the Home Channel News website brought reports from vendors who had been asked to take back inventory at other locations slated for closure.

Carolyn Atkinson, ProBuild’s director of marketing, confirmed that the Denver-based company was closing 20 locations “scattered across the nation.”

“In an effort to align our business with current market needs, ProBuild is closing a small number of facilities in markets where customer demand no longer requires multiple locations or where market demand does not exist,” she said, in an e-mail message.

Atkinson said that the company was not yet ready to announce which locations are marked for closure. Through other sources, Home Channel News has learned that the list includes units in the following locations: Sacramento, Calif.; Poway, Calif.; National City, Calif. (truss plant); Cottonwood, Ariz.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Orem, Utah.

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Obituary: William Cowling, Dixieline president

BY HBSDEALER Staff

William Cowling Jr., the former president of Dixieline Lumber, died of Parkinson’s disease on Nov. 27. He was 81 years old.

Known to most people as simply “Cowling,” the retired lumberman began working at Dixie Lumber in San Diego while his father, William Cowling Sr., was one of the owners. After a merger and a name change, the Cowling family sold Dixieline Lumber to Weyerhaeuser in 1979. Fifteen years later, in 1994, the family regained control of the company.

In 2003, the 90-year-old lumberyard chain was sold to Lanoga Corp. By then it had grown to a company with 10 locations serving most of Southern California, including a truss and component plant, a lumber distribution facility and a lumber shipping facility on the Columbia River in Oregon. Annual revenues were $230 million. 

Cowling stayed on as a consultant for several years at Dixieline, which later became part of ProBuild. During his retirement, Cowling became active in law enforcement, becoming a reserve officer for the San Diego Police Department as well as the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Cowling is survived by his wife Ovie, of 47 years, seven children, and 12 grandchildren.

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NAWLA releases attendance figures for Chicago event

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA) saw attendance increase 3.5% at its NAWLA Traders Market in Chicago.

Overall attendance at the Nov. 3-5 event held in Chicago was 1,148, made up of almost equal parts producers and wholesalers, according to the group. (Click here for the complete attendee list.) Attendees represented nine countries.

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