LUMBERYARDS

Viance takes a walk on the boardwalk

BY Ken Clark

The Florida panhandle destination of Destin completed a harbor boardwalk makeover that used 200,000 board ft. of Southern Pine, 1,080 treated piles and 85,000 board ft. of Ecolife Stabilized Weather-Resistant Wood, according to Viance.

The boardwalk is part of a multi-year, $90 million capital improvement program for the 400-acre Destin Harbor District that includes a public park and plaza, roadway improvements, and land acquisition as part of the initial $15-million phase. 

The new boardwalk runs for more than 1/2 mile from the end of Harbor Walk Village east to the Destin Yacht Club.

“When people come to Destin, we want them to be focused on the beauty that surrounds them,” said Christopher Kollwitz, director of marketing for Viance. “The boats, the shops, the sand, the water — and the new and attractive boardwalk that brings them all together.”

All materials used to construct the boardwalk were treated and supplied by Cox Industries.

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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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