LUMBERYARDS

ProBuild cuts back on 127 jobs

BY Ken Clark

ProBuild Holdings, the nation’s largest LBM chain, reduced its employee head count by 127 positions, according to an article in the Denver Business Journal. The cuts were spread across the nation and targeted administration positions, including jobs in finance and human resources.

ProBuild could not be reached for comment, but confirmed the layoffs for the Business Journal. Spokeswoman Jennifer Thurman said the company took the actions “to reduce costs and better serve our customers” and also “to better align its operations for greater efficiencies.”

 

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Survey of pros shows big-box prominence

BY Ken Clark

According to a quarterly survey of tens of thousands of home improvement professionals, more than 60% of pros shop at big boxes.

The survey, the TraQline PRO report from The Stevenson Co., also found pros — including general contractors, painters, plumbers and landscapers — are motivated by competitive prices when buying home improvement materials.

The TraQline PRO findings include:

• Competitive prices drive the majority (40%) of home improvement professionals’ buying habits, while 33% are influenced by product quality;

• Only 7% of home improvement professionals shop online, with the majority visiting the Web to compare prices, conduct basic product research and compare product features; 

• Fourteen percent of landscapers choose Stihl outdoor products; and

• Among general contractors, DeWalt remains the No. 1 brand in portable power tools with 29% market share.

“Big-box retailers fare well among home improvement professionals, with more than 60% shopping there,” said Eric Voyer, VP of The Stevenson Co. “As professionals look for lowest cost and convenient options, we’ll continue to track specialty retailers, lumberyards and supply stores to see if they are able to compete on price while focusing on product quality and service.”

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QEP and Imperial Industries make a deal

BY Ken Clark

QEP Co, a worldwide manufacturer, marketer and distributor of hardwood flooring, flooring installation tools, adhesives and flooring-related products, signed a letter of intent to acquire Imperial Industries.

Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Imperial Industries, maker and distributor of exterior building products, said it received a line of credit up to $500,000 from QEP.

The credit is intended to provide Imperial funds for its current working capital needs and any transaction costs that may be incurred as a result of a subsequent merger between Imperial and QEP.

Daniel Ponce, Imperial’s chairman of the board, stated: "This loan agreement provides the company with the necessary funds to address the immediate liquidity needs of its operations during this difficult period in the construction industry. We are excited about the potential acquisition of our company by QEP. Should our company join forces with QEP, I believe it would strengthen our operations and greatly enhance our company’s ability to improve our market position."

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