Walking the Aisles: Sutherlands
Salt Lake City — Privately held home improvement retailer Sutherlands Lumber, based in Kansas City, Mo., has gone where few lumber companies have gone before — from a 1917 mom-and-pop to a home improvement chain that operates in 13 states.
The company ranked 13th on the 2012 Home Channel News Top 300 Industry Scoreboard, where it’s wedged between Northern Tool & Equipment and Builders FirstSource. But Sutherlands’ Salt Lake City store, its westernmost outpost, is more like Menards, with an eclectic merchandise mix that’s also heavy on lumber.
Turnstiles regulate foot traffic into the store. A few steps beyond, visitors are greeted with a table stacked with bags of onions and potatoes. Beyond that, a table of jeans — all evidence that the company’s buyers and merchants are encouraged to take chances.
Barbed wire and fencing supplies, along with a prominent Ranch-Way Feeds sign give a rural feel to the store, which is located near downtown.
Sutherlands deserves credit for its role as home center innovator in the early 20th century. But as it expands with local-market knowledge, it’s also a story for the 21st.
Passing the gavel in Savannah
At a gathering of 200 pro dealers and suppliers in Savannah, Ga., the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) board of directors introduced a new leadership team headed by Chuck Bankston, president of Bankston Lumber in Barnesville, Ga. The Oct. 24 installation was held during the ProDealer Industry Summit, a three-day event jointly sponsored by the NLBMDA and Home Channel News.
Bankston replaced outgoing chair Cally Coleman Fromme, executive VP of Zarsky Lumber Co. Reflecting on the decades she and her family have operated their Texas chain of lumberyards, which Fromme will soon take over, the first woman to serve as an NLBMDA chair said: “We stick around [because] we love it. We can’t help it.”
Incoming chair Bankston recalled his failed attempt at getting a job as a lifeguard at the town’s public pool. Working in the family lumberyard—– he’s the fourth generation — appeared to be his destiny. “My dad never pushed me into getting back into the family business,” Bankston said. “He always let me make my decisions on my own. [But] he instilled in me conservative core values that drive everything I do today.”
The NLBMDA bestowed service awards on Carlos Guilherme of Weyerhaeuser, Harold Baalmann of B&B Lumber, and the Oklahoma Lumbermen’s Association.
A grab bag of home channel merchandise
BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop
BISSELL Homecare’s BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop features the Easy Scrubber brush to break up tough messes. The brush is located on the head of the mop and, when lowered, effectively scrubs out gummy substances, such as chocolate syrup, orange juice, soda and grape jelly. The mop’s SmartSet Steam Control allows consumers to steam at three levels: from low for delicate flooring to high for wet and tacky messes. It also removes 99% of germs and bacteria when used as directed and offers the user the option to leave behind a Spring Breeze scent as he or she cleans. (bissell.com)
DAP Products has introduced the newly formulated DAP 3.0 line, which is paintable and water-resistant in 30 minutes. It is low odor, VOC-compliant and backed by a lifetime guarantee. Designed to address a wide range of sealing applications in kitchens and baths, around windows, doors, trim and siding, and on concrete and masonry surfaces, the new line of project-oriented sealants includes several formulations: DAP 3.0 Kitchen, Bath & Plumbing Sealants; DAP 3.0 Window, Door, Trim & Siding Sealants; and DAP 3.0 Self-Leveling Concrete & Masonry Sealant. (dap.com)
Grip-Rite’s PROLOK is a new line of rebar and mesh chairs, which features patented locking heads. No tie wire or bar ties are required since it locks automatically, saving money and time. Three new products are available: High Chair, Tilt-Up Chair and Sandplate Base. The lightweight products are stackable for multi-layer grids, reflective for low-light projects and contribute to earning LEED points. PROLOK Rebar + Mesh Chairs are suitable for a variety of construction applications, including commercial and residential, parking lots, parking garages and patios. (primesourcebp.com)
Energizer MAX brand batteries with Power Seal Technology
Energizer has introduced its Energizer MAX brand batteries with Power Seal Technology to the United States. Power Seal Technology was first launched in Asia in 2009. Power Seal Technology gives these batteries better power retention to hold power longer. Improvements include a stepped can construction to improve clamping effectiveness, a sealant application, nylon ring seal insertion, and improved storage and drying processes to reinforce the sealing effect before packing. Several months ago, Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries got a power boost with a re-tooled formula, including improved materials and construction. (energizer.com)
Indow Windows are custom-fit window inserts that provide insulation and the energy savings of double-paned windows at one-half to one-fifth the cost. Indow Windows are now available nationally for home-performance contractors and others in the residential and commercial remodeling sector. The initial dealer installation is fast, clean and simple, with no need to install an interior frame or bracket. Once installed, the inserts provide a tight seal against cold winter drafts and hot summer air, reducing energy costs and increasing homeowner comfort. They are composed of sheets of light and strong acrylic glazing edged with the company’s patented compression tubing. After being installed by an authorized Indow Window Dealer, homeowners can remove the thermal window inserts and press them back inside their window frames. (indowwindows.com)
Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 5-in. Random Orbit Sander
Makita has expanded its lineup of 18V Lithium-Ion cordless tools with the new 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 5-in. Random Orbit Sander, model LXOB01. It has three speed settings (7,000/9,500/11,000 OPM) that are changed with a one-touch electronic control switch. The large 1/8-in. random orbit action is engineered for efficient sanding, fast material removal and a swirl-free finish. The pad brake reduces free-spin, and a control system regulates pad speed at start-up. The LXOB01 will run up to 40 minutes at the low speed setting and up to 20 minutes on high speed on a single battery charge. Other features include an ergonomically designed body and grip that weighs 3.6 lbs. The through-the-pad dust collection system helps provide a cleaner work surface. The dust-sealed switch and oversized sealed ball-bearing construction are engineered for longer tool life. (makita.com)
Rockler Reusable Silicone Glue Application Kit
Rockler unveiled its 3-Piece Silicone Glue Application Kit, a brush, spreader and tray set made of flexible silicone material that make the tools easy to clean and re-use. The silicone rinses clean of wet glue with warm water, and dried glue cracks and peels off. The kit is useful in a wide variety of glue application tasks, from joinery to edging. The brush is 7 in. long and features the brush on one end with flexible silicone bristles and a tapered paddle on the opposite end for detail work. The spreader is 2-1/2 in. tall by 4 in. long, and the tray is 3-in. wide by 5-1/2 in. long. (rockler.com)
RotoZip has introduced its new Spiral+ tool, RotoSaw+, optimized for more power, control and versatility. RotoSaw+ offers maximum performance in a variety of building materials, including hard wood, rebar and granite. It eliminates the need for multiple tools by doing the work of several in one. It can be used as a cutout tool, a cutoff grinder, a flush-cut saw and a hole saw. When paired with the appropriate attachment and accessory, RotoSaw+ replaces such tools as tile-cutting wet saws, jigsaws or power shears (for sheet metal). Its 6.0A motor powers through dense, difficult materials, while variable speed enables users to quickly slow the tool down from 30,000 RPM to 15,000 RPM. Soft-grip housing and an upfront ON/OFF switch provide additional support, while helping reduce user fatigue. (rotozip.com)