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Readers Respond: Boise and the Top 100

BY HBSDEALER Staff

"Your decision to not include Boise Cascade’s Building Materials operations on your list of top wholesale operations is inconsistent and misleading to a wide variety of audiences. Your reasoning for our deletion was apparently based on the fact that Boise Cascade is both a wholesaler of a broad line of building materials and a manufacturer of wood products. Clearly we do not understand this reasoning after having been on the list for decades. In addition, this reasoning seems to be inconsistently applied, given that other distributors on the list fit a similar profile.

“While the exclusion will in no way hinder our goal of providing our customers with the broadest product line available and the best service possible, we clearly want our customer and vendor partners to understand that your exclusion in no way diminishes our capacity and commitment to them. We are, and will continue to be, a dynamic and growing part of our great industry.”
— Nick Stokes
Senior VP
Boise Building Materials Distribution

HCN Responds: The decision to remove from the Top 100 Distributors Scoreboard companies like Boise Cascade that combine manufacturing with distribution is being reviewed.  

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Irene’s retail winners

BY Brae Canlen

Home Depot and Lowe’s may receive a 1% bump to their third-quarter results as a result of Hurricane Irene sales, according to an analysis provided by MarketWatch

A variety of retail analysts weighed in on the question of whether Irene would help or hurt retail sales, given that many stores were forced to close when evacuation orders came. But the overall consensus was that before-and-after hurricane sales will benefit home improvement retailers, while negatively impacting department stores, specialty stores and any retailer relying on back-to-school sales.

Home Depot sent 500 trucks of merchandise to stores in the potentially affected areas, although some of its vendors were asked to ship items like plywood and waters directly to stores.

Lowe’s also shipped more than 500 truckloads to its stores in the hurricane zone, according to the report.

Both home improvement chains kept stores open extended hours. In the coastal parts of North Carolina and Virginia, some Home Depot locations were open 24 hours.

Analyst David Schick of Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. predicted that Irene-related sales would boost comp-store sales at both Home Depot and Lowe’s by one percentage point each in the third quarter. Because of differences in their regional store concentrations, while a more Northern landfall and impact would contribute more to Home Depot’s sales.

Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig said her data showed that, throughout the whole hurricane-affected region, Home Depot had the second highest exposure (after supermarket chain Supervalu) at 31%. Lowe’s stores had a 26% exposure.

Analyst Alan Rifkin of Barclays Capital said the positive impact on same-store sales for some companies can lag over a one-year period following a hurricane. This is especially true for home improvement retailers, Rifkin said, because sales are driven by pent-up demand and rebuilding efforts.

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Water heater manufacturer signs with GSA

BY Ken Clark

Ashland City, Tenn.-based A. O. Smith has entered into a contract with the U. S. General Services Administration (GSA). The new contract will allow the water heater manufacturer to easily interact with federal, state and local government agencies in need of commercial water heaters and boilers.

Typically, GSA contracts are open-ended, five-year agreements listing negotiated pricing on specified products, according to the company. GSA schedules are the preferred purchasing method as they allow government buyers to save time by making purchases through a pre-approved list of suppliers.  A. O. Smith was added to the GSA schedule after an extensive approval process. 

A. O. Smith’s GSA listing includes more than 50 of its best-selling commercial units, including Cyclone and Master-Fit commercial gas and Gold Series commercial electric water heaters, as well as Genesis and VF gas boilers.

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