Youngblood’s new beginning in Memphis
In one three-month period in 2016, the business formerly known as Hyman Builders Supply underwent a historic name change, a massive remodel, a grand opening celebration and the adoption of a new point-of-sale and back-end system.
All the while, the Memphis-based dealer now known as Youngblood Builders Supply, was returning its focus on the pro customer, after a post-downturn shift to DIY.
You can call it an extreme makeover for the Memphis-based Orgill customer. It’s no wonder the Memphis Chamber of Commerce named the lumberyard one of “10 companies to watch in 2017.”
The changes can be traced back to November 2015, when brothers Don and Rick Youngblood acquired the Memphis location.
“Hyman had been a good name for us for a long time,” said Dan Fuller, general manager and 21-year company veteran. “But we knew we had to change the name as we changed. We’re a new company, and we’re refocusing on the pro customer.”
To help with the transition — in store design and product mix — Youngblood Builders Supply turned to Orgill’s Pro Focus program.
“We brought back in a bunch of power tools and more contractor-based items,” Fuller said. “The Orgill merchandisers came here, brought in 5,000 new items, filled holes in our assortments — and they also made the store look a lot better.”
Another opportunity is Memphis’ active Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) sector — particularly as the yard’s neighbors include plants, refineries and factories, he said. Here again, Youngblood leaned on Orgill for product mix and programs in MRO.
Another investment came in paint aisle, where the dealer spent more than $30,000 on equipment and product to add Valspar paint and color matching service to the store last year.
The investments (which included butts of pork in a single day during grand opening week) were substantial, but they are already paying off, he said. “We still have a ways to go, but our numbers look better than they have in a while,” he said.
While the emphasis is on the pro, Fuller says no DIYer will be left behind. In fact, the dealer can play matchmaker between his walk-in business that needs help, and the pro customer who can provide it.
“We don’t want to turn away anybody, and we still get walk-in customers every day,” Fuller said.
A call to repeal Health Insurance Tax
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association today announced its support for the Jobs and Premium Protection Act (H.R. 246) legislation introduced by Reps. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., to repeal the Health Insurance Tax and help lower health insurance premiums for small businesses.
"The HIT is hurting lumber dealers, most of which are small business operations and want to invest in their companies and employees but are unable to because of continued financial burdens that have been unnecessarily placed upon them," said Jonathan Paine, president and CEO of NLBMDA. "On behalf of independent lumber dealers across the country, NLBMDA applauds Representatives Noem and Sinema for their leadership to fully repeal the HIT."
NLBMDA surveyed its members in 2015 and found that health care expenses were the top issue impacting dealer business operations. The HIT is estimated to cost small businesses an extra $5,000 over the next decade.
Some NLBMDA members and other small businesses will begin renewing their health care coverage on Feb. 1, meaning dealers will see health care premium increases as early as next week because of the HIT. Moreover, the HIT is expected to increase every year, therefore dealers will continue to face steeper, more burdensome premiums over time. That is why NLBMDA calls on Congress to act now and repeal the HIT.
"HIT repeal remains a high priority," Paine said. "We are committed to working with Representatives Noem and Sinema, and the over 100 Republicans and Democrats who are co-sponsoring the bill, to see that the HIT is repealed."
Throwback Thursday: Computers at Guadalupe Lumber
The Feb. 26, 1983 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, profiled the POS enhancement at San Antonio's Guadalupe Lumber.
Plus, "we can bring in 2,000 items a week and adjust the pricing smoothly," Grothues said.
The article adds that vendor price increases are absorbed instantly because each increase is flagged by the system.
The Grothues family continues to own the business, which now has three locations in San Antonio. Fourth-generation GM Kyle Grothues appeared on the HCN cover in September 2013 as one of 50 Hardware Store All-Stars (left).
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