Company Snapshot: 84 Lumber Co.
1019 Route 519
EIGHTY FOUR, PA 15330-2813
Total Current Stores:
Nationwide with strong concentration on the eastern third of the USA.
Total Annual Sales:
Joseph A. Hardy III: Founder, Chairman, CEO
Maggie Hardy Magerko: President
Founded in 1956, 84 Lumber Co. was long ranked as the Number 1 pro dealer in the United States, in Chain Store Guide’s annual Index of Leading Companies. The company’s ranking has been slightly lowered in recent years as it reacted to the effects on the economy of the subprime crisis followed by the recession.
Of all the industry segments crossing this market, none has been as hard hit as that of the pro dealers. This can be seen through the glut of housing awaiting buyers, the stifling number of recent and pending foreclosures and in many cases homes and apartment complexes sitting abandoned, awaiting initial occupancy. With this mass of available used and new homes in many markets, combined with tight lending policies by most banks, there is little demand for new building projects. Builders are the primary clients of pro dealers.
84 Lumber has always maintained a very transparent operation and continues to do so. Executives have always been accessible and seem proud to discuss company challenges and policy. There is very little executive turnover.
84 has gone from a high of 475 locations in 2006 to a recessionary low of 274 in 2010. Since then they have managed a net gain to reach a total of 281. 84’s closings have been diligently and methodically planned. The company is very community minded and before closing a single unit it carefully plotted likely area results on master demographic maps. Before a closing could be approved the company had to be sure the affected community had adequate alternative sourcing for product. Often this resulted in two nearby locations consolidating or a location thought to be in danger, saved by the needs of the greater area.
84 did not take a single closing lightly and often promised to revisit a closure when local economies rebounded and demand for product returned. In its typically transparent way, a handful of locations have been so restored.
In-depth profiles of Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe’s and 4,500 leading home center and hardware chains can be found in Chain Store Guide’s Database of Home Centers & Hardware Chains.