Retail Review – January/February 2023

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Lowe’s Announces Sale of Canadian Retail Business To Sycamore Partners

Mooresville, NC – Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (Lowe’s), located here, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Canadian retail business to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm specializing in retail, consumer and distribution-related investments, for $400 million in cash, and performance-based deferred consideration.

Lowe’s Canadian retail business, based in Boucherville, QC, operates or services 450 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores in a number of complementary formats, including, RONA, Lowe’s Canada, Réno-Dépôt and Dick’s Lumber. The sale of the Canadian retail business will allow Lowe’s to take an important step in simplifying the Lowe’s Business model.

According to published reports, Lowe’s is looking forward to working with Sycamore Partners in executing a seamless transition. Sycamore Partners is also looking forward to establishing Lowe’s Canada and RONA as a standalone company, that will be headquartered in Boucherville, QC.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2023 and is subject to customary closing condition and regulatory approvals. Lowe’s expects to record pre-tax non-cash impairment charge of approximately $2 billion related to its Canadian retail business.

U.S. LBM Strikes Another Truss Move

Buffalo Grove, IL – U.S. LBM, located here, has acquired Comtech, a manufacturer and supplier of structural roof and floor trusses located in North Carolina. Comtech, founded in 1970, manufactures wooden floor and roof trusses, as well as provides engineered wood products to builders in the Carolinas.

With Comtech’s truss manufacturing capabilities, U.S. LBM’s network will be strengthened throughout the Carolinas. This will allow U.S. LBM to expand their service offerings and product mix across several key markets in the region.

Comtech will operate as part of U.S. LBM’s Professional Builders Supply, which distributes residential and commercial building materials, such as lumber, decking and railing, trim, siding, doors and windows to builders and remodelers across the Carolinas.

To learn more visit, www.uslbm.com.

Empire Moulding and Millwork Opens New Distribution Center In New England

Zeeland, MI – Novo Building Products, located here, has announced that they will open a new Empire Moulding and Millwork distribution facility in Amherst, NH. Located 60 miles north of Boston, it will be a 217,000-square-foot-facility that will service 750 independent lumberyards, specialty millwork shops, stair manufacturers, door fabricators, ProDealers and home centers across New England.

This expansion will allow Empire to better support and service customers through the Northeast with a wide array of products. The facility, in Amherst, will provide high-quality interior millwork products to the increasing demand in New England. The product assortment available includes solid wood mouldings, stair parts, finger joint and MDF.

Novo Building Products operates 14 facilities under four regional brands: Empire Moulding and Millwork, Ornamental Decorative Millwork, L.J. Smith Stair Systems and Southwest Moulding and Millwork. The company also operates Novo Direct, which offers global sourcing and mill direct brokerage services.

For more information visit, www.novobp.com or www.empireco.com.

Bliffert Merges With Milwaukee Cabinetry

Milwaukee, WI – Bliffert Lumber and Hardware, located here, has merged with Milwaukee Cabinetry, a single location cabinet design studio and showroom in Milwaukee.

Bliffert is continuing to improve the services that they offer to their customers across WI. Not only will the acquisition of Milwaukee Cabinetry expand their services, but Milwaukee Cabinetry also shares the same dedication to customer service and a strong commitment to family and community. With the combining of these resources, Bliffert can expand their customer base, products, and services while maintaining the traditions of Milwaukee Cabinetry, according to a company representative.

Milwaukee Cabinetry specializes in executing professional cabinetry designs and supplying quality cabinetry, countertops, plumbing fixtures and hardware. Since 1984 they have been providing professional designs, top-notch customer service and quality materials to remodelers, builders, interior designers and other building professionals.

Bliffert Lumber and Hardware has served Southeastern Wisconsin for over 115 years.

To learn more visit, www.bliffertlumber.com.

Drexel Building Supply Plans To Merge With McMahon And Company

New Berlin, WI – Drexel’s plan to merge with McMahon and Company, a leading supplier of doors and millwork in Wisconsin, was official as of December 31, 2022.

McMahon and Company was established in 1996. They are a family-owned business that employs approximately 50 people in Jackson, WI to distribute “millwork with a personal touch.” Drexel plans to integrate the McMahon business into Eastern, Central and North Central WI to focus on efficiency and quality. The entire McMahon team will remain a key part of the business as they grow and innovate to be the leader in doors, moulding and finish materials.

Future plans include growing into a new facility that will double capacity and employ 100 full-time, well trained team members, and is poised to open at some point in 2024. The operation will be known as Drexel Doors and Millwork.

Drexel acquiring McMahon shows that they are doing everything they can to work with the best, get better and to continue to innovate and grow, according to the company. As Drexel continues to grow, they can give their builders more of what they need, more communication, more time and more supplies. This growth also allows them to drive down prices, maintain quality control and implement direct route deliveries.

For more information visit, www.drexelteam.com.

Meade Lumber Makes Moves In Kansas City

Omaha, NE – Meade Lumber Company, located here, has purchased Teague Lumber Company, Inc. of Kansas City, MO. After acquiring Teague Lumber, Meade Lumber now has 53 locations throughout the Midwest. They also have five truss and wall panel manufacturing plants and a countertop manufacturing facility.

Teague Lumber has served the Kansas City metro area as a full-service lumber yard and building material supplier for residential and light commercial new construction since 2002. They have four locations throughout the Kansas City area: corporate office, including the millwork operation and a separate lumber yard in Grandview, MO, as well as lumber yards in Liberty, MO and Bonner Springs, KS.

Teague Lumber is excited to join the Meade Lumber family. While there were several other parties interested in purchasing Teague Lumber, when it came down to it Meade Lumber was the only interested party that shared the same values, culture and track record in the communities that they serve. Meade Lumber is also 100 percent employee-owned, which made it an even easier decision for Teague Lumber.

Teague Lumber has given Meade Lumber their first location in MO, and an opportunity to expand into the Kansas City market.

The business will continue to operate under Teague Lumber Company, and all current employees will remain and become employees of Meade Lumber.

For more information visit, www.meadecompanies.com.

True Value Purchased The Agway Brand

Chicago, IL – True Value, located here, announced that it has acquired the brand trademark rights from Agway Farm and Home Supply, a wholesale product distribution company that serves a network of private dealers, primarily in the U.S. Northeast. Purchasing the Agway brand allows True Value to continue to grow through strategic acquisitions.

The farm and ranch category has become important for True Value and now that they own the Agway brand, it allows them to deepen their capacity to support retailers in providing their customers with products that they need. Some of the products that they offer are boards in a variety of species and thicknesses, decorative moulding and wood stakes.

Through this purchase, True Value has also obtained the rights to select and private-label products and equipment. As of the acquisition there are close to 600 retail stores that operate under the Agway brand.

To learn more visit, www.truevalue.com.

ABC Supply Co., Inc. Opens Location In Havre de Grace, Maryland

Beloit, WI – ABC Supply Co., Inc. located here, has opened a new location in Havre de Grace, MD. ABC Supply is the largest wholesale distributor of roofing and other select exterior and interior building products, such as wood siding, railing and decking, in North America.

Opening the new branch in Havre de Grace will allow them to meet the growing demand for building products and further support northern MD. This branch’s team will build partnerships with area contractors and ensure that they get the support that they need to make their jobs easier. ABC Supply’s sole focus is serving professional contractors and “making it easy” for them to do their jobs by offering the products, support and services they need, according to a company statement.

ABC Supply has nearly 900 locations across the U.S. and Canada.

For more information call 443-360-9755 or visit www.abcsupply.com.

Construction Adds 20,000 Employees

Arlington, VA – According to the Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) latest data available at press time, construction companies have added 20,000 employees and have continued to raise wages for hourly workers as the industry’s unemployment tumbled. Association officials said the data shows that if firms could find more people to hire then they would have added significantly more workers.

Construction employment hit a record high 7,750,000 at press time, with a 3.3 percent increase from a year earlier. Nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors along with heavy and civil engineering construction firms added 16,300 employees, while residential and specialty trade contractors together added 3,900 employees.

Pay levels in the construction industry have continued to increase at a faster pace than in the overall private sector. The increase has exceeded the 5.8 percent rise in average pay for all private sector production workers.

The unemployment rate among jobseekers with construction experience decreased from 4.7 percent in November 2021 to 3.9 percent in November 2022. Unemployed construction worker numbers fell by 16 percent, from 469,000 in November 2021 to 393,000 in November 2022.

To learn more visit, www.agc.org.

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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