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ProBuild Holdings acquires Centex distribution arm

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pro Build Holdings, the industry’s largest chain of lumberyards, has purchased the assets of CTX Builders Supply, a division of Centex Homes that distributed building materials and manufactured trusses and wall panels. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal will plant a Pro Build flag in the Phoenix market, where the Denver-based pro dealer has yet to establish itself. Five other facilities, consisting of component plants and distribution yards, will also join ProBuild’s various divisions. They are located in Albemarle, N.C.; Plant City, Fla.; Buda, Texas; Carrollton, Texas; and Visalia, Calif.

The Dallas-based builder originally established CTX Builders Supply as a way of leveraging its scale and driving down costs by supplying its own construction projects. The division was able to buy directly from manufacturers and then repackage the building materials for delivery to job sites.

The CTX locations are combined component manufacturing and distribution facilities, although that may change, according to ProBuild. “In some locations we will continue to perform both functions, in others we will concentrate on manufacturing and change over the distribution to our local yards,” said Paul Hylbert, company CEO, in an interview with HCN.

Visalia, in central California, is also a new market for ProBuild, although the company has a location in Bakersfield, 70 miles away. In Texas, North Carolina and Florida, “We will be adding the CTX locations to our mix of facilities, which are generally in close proximity,” Hylbert said.

Although Visalia and Phoenix are among the most depressed home-building markets in the country, Hylbert noted that “these [CTX] operations are generating revenues and serving active Centex communities. Houses are being built in these markets.” ProBuild will now be serving Centex—along with its other customers—from these locations, according to Hylbert.

ProBuild now operates more than 550 locations in 42 states.

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Around the Web: Obama tackles housing market

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Barack Obama administration started a temporary program to boost state and local housing finance agencies (HFAs). The purpose of the program is to spur lending and buying in a depressed housing market.

“Through this initiative, the administration aims to help HFAs jumpstart new lending to borrowers who might not otherwise be served and to better support the financing costs of their current programs,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a prepared statement.

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True Value fall market held in Atlanta

BY HBSDEALER Staff

When True Value president and CEO Lyle Heidemann addressed co-op members at the opening session of the 2008 fall market Oct. 17 in Atlanta, he stressed the importance of Destination True Value — encouraging retailers to adopt the new, more consumer friendly store format in one form or another.

“Much of our future is centered on Destination True Value, both for our existing stores as well as our growth with new ones,” Heidemann told the group assembled at the Georgia World Congress Center. “This year we will open, expand, relocate, convert or remodel more than 100 stores to the new format. In addition, another 75 stores will implement the DTV decor package.”

The point hit home with show attendees Kurt and Kathie Stringham, owners of Stringham’s True Value in Santaquin, Utah, which will undergo a DTV remodel starting next month. “Our sales are down this quarter, but we’re not pessimistic,” Kathie Stringham said. “I’m not sure about the economy, but for hardware stores, if you’re wise you can still do well.”

Carol Wentworth, vp-marketing, also addressed members at the opening session, trying to drive home the importance of national and local advertising in these tough economic times. She said stores that participated in three spring circular programs saw a 7 percent increase in sales and an average of $45,000 more in revenue during the spring season than stores that didn’t use the promotions.

“I think those numbers tell a pretty compelling story about using circulars to help you get ready for the spring selling season,” Wentworth said.

More than 1,000 vendors are introducing new items and offering market-only deals on merchandise from every major product category. Retailers attending the market will also have an opportunity to attend educational classes on everything from merchandising and marketing best practices to the True Value Rewards program and leveraging point-of-sale technology. 

The market is open through Oct. 20.

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