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Pro dealers of the year: HCN salutes you

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Each year at about this time, the editors of Home Channel News crunch the sales numbers, consult the experts, and select the winners of the Pro Dealer of the Year awards, which will be presented during the ProDealer Industry Summit, Oct. 13 to 15 in Orlando, Fla.

For 2010, 22-unit Marjam Supply of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the official Pro Dealer of the Year. The company’s ability to increase sales more than 7% last year — no larger pro dealer fared better — reflects a high performance in an extremely difficult operating environment.

“We are honored to receive this award on the behalf of every Marjam employee,” said owner Mark Buller. Buller is no stranger to awards — in 1995 he was recognized as a Metropolitan New York winner of an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

And Marjam’s COO Carmen Arguelles is the current Northeastern Retail Lumber Association’s Lumber Person of the Year.

Independent Pro Dealer of the Year honoree Forge Lumber of Cincinnati saw sales increase 25% in 2009. Gaining market share as competitors withdrew, the company was one of very few double-digit percentage gainers on the HCN Top 350 Pro Dealer Scoreboard.

The 2010 ProDealer of the Year Awards Dinner, sponsored by iLevel by Weyerhaeuser, is held in conjunction with the 2010 ProDealer Industry Summit. Now in their 14th year, the awards have been presented annually by Home Channel News to commend excellence in the LBM industry.

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Pending home sales rise modestly in July

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 5.2% to 79.4 based on contracts signed in July from a downwardly revised 75.5 in June, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The index, released Thursday, is 19.1% below June 2009 when it was 98.1. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months, according to the NAR.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, cautioned that there would be a long recovery process. “Home sales will remain soft in the months ahead, but improved affordability conditions should help with a recovery,” he said. “But the recovery looks to be a long process. Home buyers over the past year got a great deal, and buyers for the balance of this year have an edge over sellers. For those who bought at or near the peak several years ago, particularly in markets experiencing big bubbles, it may take over a decade to fully recover lost equity.”

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Suspects stalled by flat tires

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Two men suspected of stealing power tools from a Southern California Home Depot were arrested on Aug. 20 after their getaway vehicle developed two flat tires.

Deputies from the Victorville Police Station, summoned by store personnel, arrived at the Home Depot on Bear Valley Road shortly before noon to find a black SUV leaving the scene. One suspect attempted to drive the car, which had two flat tires, along an adjoining road but soon fled the vehicle on foot. He was arrested by sheriff deputies.

Asecond suspect was detained in the parking lot of the store.

Inside the SUV, law enforcement officers found electric drills valued at more than $2,000 that had been allegedly stolen earlier that day at another Home Depot store in Victorville.

Arrested for commercial burglary were Jose Munoz, 34, and Rolando Martinez, 39, both from Los Angeles. The suspects are known gang members, according to authorities.

Karen Hunt, a spokeswoman for the Victorville Sheriff’s Department, told Home Channel News that the commercial burglary charges stem from the suspects’ “intent to steal,” as opposed to “spur of the moment” shoplifting. As for the flat tires, “They tried to drive over an embankment in order to get away the deputies and loss prevention [personnel],” Hunt said.

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