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Retailers release September sales figures

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Major retailers released sales figures for the month of September, with a particularly strong showing from membership warehouse club Costco.

• Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart reported comparable-store sales rose 1.4 percent, including a 4.4 percent gain at the company’s Sam’s Club stores. Net sales rose 9.7 percent to $34.4 billion from $31.4 billion in the same period last year.

• Comparable-store sales at Minneapolis-based Target rose 1.2 percent, while overall sales rose 6.2 percent to $5.2 billion from $4.9 billion in September 2006.

• Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco saw comparable-store sales rise a hearty 6 percent, while overall sales rose 9 percent to $6.05 billion from $5.53 billion last year.

In all, U.S. chain store sales increased by 1.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Abnormally warm weather negatively impacted apparel sales during the period, the group said.

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Trex participates in New Orleans rebuilding

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Building materials company Trex has participated in a Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans, donating $75,000 worth of products to rebuilding efforts and employee aid to the “Musician’s Village” project.

Around 160 Trex employees also helped complete the Village project, which is being built to help house New Orleans musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The additional $75,000 donation is meant to supply decking materials to more than 40 single-family homes and also for public walkway and marina projects.

“Our New Orleans initiatives demonstrate our belief that … we have a responsibility and unique opportunity to be part of the solution to environmental and community challenges,” said CEO Andrew Ferrari.

Trex, based in Winchester, Va., makes decking, railing, fencing and other building materials using recycled material.

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The Lumber Yard announces new business model, consolidation

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Lumber Yard, a pro dealer serving five Mid-Atlantic States, has announced a restructuring plan that will expand its operations in several strategic locations, but also will result in nine closings elsewhere.

Called The Lumber Yard XL, the new business model will create five “super yards” in Whitehall, Pa.; Downingtown, Pa.; York, Pa.; Hagerstown, Md.; and Winchester, Va. Each location will offer a Design Center, as well as 60 percent more inventory and 50 percent more delivery equipment than the company’s existing locations, the announcement said. More staff and longer hours of operation will boost service levels, allowing The Lumber Yard to offer a $100 credit if deliveries are not on time, complete and correct, according to the company.

The XL program will also retain four existing locations that will function as convenience lumberyards and sales offices in Carlisle, Pa.; Gettysburg, Pa.; Eldersburg, Md.; and Bel Air, Md. The company will operate a showroom at each of these locations, bringing the total number of Design Centers to nine.

Construction on the new showrooms has been underway for the past few months, and some are already completed. Wolf Organization, the parent company of The Lumber Yard, will invest more than $2.5 million in developing the design centers, which are being modeled after the flagship showroom at company headquarters in York, Pa. Expansion work on the super yards has also begun, according to Len Kopec, CEO of Wolf Organization.

“This is a new logistical model [that] we’ve been working on for some time,” Kopec told HCN. “In today’s environment, it makes more sense to concentrate your inventory, your equipment, your services and your people. We can move material over distances and get it to [customers] when and where they want it.”

The Lumber Yard, listed as “Wolf Organization,” is ranked 42nd on HCN’s Pro Dealer Top 350. The company had revised 2006 sales of $147 million.

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