LUMBERYARDS

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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Bozzuto Homes names new director of construction

BY Brae Canlen

The Bozzuto Group, a residential builder based in Greenbelt, Md., has hired Chris Block as its new director of construction. 

“[Block] will be directly responsible for all homebuilding construction activities for Bozzuto Homes, including our newest communities – Uptown at Murray Hill in Annapolis, Towson Green in Towson, and Uplands in Baltimore City," said Tom Baum, president Bozzuto Homes. "His experience and knowledge of operations and construction in the Mid-Atlantic homebuilding market will prove to be valuable assets in the current real estate climate."

Block previously held several executive level positions at Caruso Homes, Inc., most recently as executive VP, where he managed daily operations for the regional homebuilder. He also served as director of operations for Golden Builders, Inc., an Annapolis-based custom homebuilder. 

Prior to his career in the homebuilding industry, Block spent nine years as a lumber broker for various companies. 

Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, The Bozzuto Group is a diversified residential real estate firm consisting of six integrated companies – acquisitions, construction, development, homebuilding, land development and property management – that together provide a broad range of real estate services throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

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