Throwback Thursday: A play in the Poconos
Pennsylvania-based Butz Building Center was riding high in 1987.
The Oct. 5, 1987 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, detailed the expansion plans of Palmerton, Pa.-based Butz Building Centers, which at the time was experiencing its best year ever.
The company had just opened its fourth store — a 10,000 sq.-ft. store in Brodheadsville, near the Pocono resort town of Stroudsburg. The story under the headline “Butz opens new unit to service consumers in Pa. resort town,” explained that the area that was experiencing significant housing growth from homeowners tired of paying New York and New Jersey prices.
It also explained the pro-oriented company’s plan to expand its sales to homeowners and DIYers. To help with the effort, Butz hired Joe Nigito, a manager with experience running a Rickel’s home improvement store in New Jersey.
“We’re not trying to de-emphasize the importance of contractors to our business,” said Andrew Eckert, president of the company. “They are our bread and butter. But we just want to increase our cash and carry trade.”
The article from 1987 also explained one of the company’s previous challenges, in the words of Eckert: “We were cherry picked before [by consumers]. But this new store is a new direction in retailing for us and represents a commitment to get our retail percentage up.”
Eckert described the Pocono area as “a boom town at the moment.”
But the boom turned to bust for Butz in 1995, when the company closed all four of its locations.
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