84 Lumber

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84 Lumber Company
Private
Industry Building materials and retail
Founded January 31, 1958; 58 years ago (1958-01-31)[1]
Headquarters Eighty Four, Pennsylvania
Key people
Joe Hardy, founder
Maggie Hardy Magerko, president and owner
Products Building materials and supplies
Revenue Increase$2.5 billion (2015)
Number of employees

approx. 5,000+/-

homepage = www.84Lumber.com
Website www.84lumber.com
Typical 84 Lumber sign

84 Lumber is an American building materials supply company. 84 Lumber Company is the largest privately held building materials supplier to professional contractors and build-it-yourselfers in the United States[citation needed]. It was founded in 1956[2] by Joseph Hardy. Headquarters are 20 miles (32 km) south of Pittsburgh, in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania.

84 Lumber owns and operates over 250 stores,[3] and the company has grown to operate components plants, door shops, installation centers and wood products shops in 30 states. As of 2016, they reportedly employ 5,000 employees.[4]

History[edit]

Located 20 mi (32 km) south of Pittsburgh, 84 Lumber established its roots in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, a rural community that has endured as a farmland community. 84 Lumber flourished with the funds and determination of Ed Ryan and Jack Kunkle, Joe Hardy and his two brothers Norman and Bob Hardy. Together, these men collected 84,000 dollars for land and buildings to grow their business.[5] As the business expanded, Hardy and his brothers became sole owners of the company.

84 Lumber established a cash and carry system; customers paid by cash or check, if merchandise was unable to be “carried” out, an additional charge was implemented to have the item personally delivered.

Throughout the 1960’s, 84 Lumber continued to expand locations. This was accomplished largely by keeping overhead low and adopting a 'no frills' warehouse-style approach to most of its stores (many of which are unheated, even in cold-climate locations), as most of its clients were commercial customers not overly concerned with aesthetics or the like. But during the 1970’s, 84 Lumber’s business grew and the company opened 229 stores.

In 1984, the company undertook an expansion plan to open at least 30 new stores. Along with grand openings, stores were remodeled and renovated from no-frills lumber yards to new and improved building materials stores. In 1987, as the improvement plan generated success the business opened their strict policy of cash-and-carry to options of using credit.[2][5]

In 1991, 84 Lumber topped Pro Sales magazine’s “Dealer 100” list.[5]

After 34 years of running the company, Joe Hardy appointed his daughter Maggie Hardy Magerko president and owner in 1992.[6] Joe Hardy passed 40 percent of the company stock to Maggie that year as well, and added another 40 percent the following year.[5] With a new leader, 84 Lumber continued to expand, opening its 400th store in 1997 in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.[5]

In 1999, 84 Lumber opened its first “84 Plus” retail store in Graysville, Tennessee. The store, designed by Maggie Hardy Magerko, carried about 12,000 products and was meant to increase the company’s profits by selling products at a higher profit margin.[5] Soon enough, over a hundred 84 Plus stores opened.

On December 7, 2002, the company exceeded $2 billion in annual sales for the first time in history.[5] In 2004, the company opened another 18 new stores, most of which located in metropolitan areas that had once been unprofitable.[5]

84 Lumber suffered great losses in sales when the housing market crashed in 2009. Limitless spending on a family-owned resort, poor store site selection and a massive debt in account receivables also contributed to difficult financial conditions for the company.[7] On the brink of bankruptcy, Hardy Magerko leveraged her own personal finances, closed stores and laid off thousands to prevent the company from going bankrupt. With the help of the market, Magerko’s efforts ultimately proved to be successful.

In 2013, 84 Lumber increased sales 27 percent over the prior year, generating $2.1 billion in revenue. In 2016, the company continues to expand and has recently announced plans to open at least a dozen new stores and manufacturing facilities in the West.[8]

Most recently, 84 Lumber introduced Tiny Living by 84 Lumber, its new line of portable homes. With competitively-priced, customizable homes under 200 square feet, Tiny Living strives to appeal to the environmentally and economically friendly do-it-yourselfer.[9]

Philanthropy[edit]

84 Lumber serves the communities in which they are located by participating in local events and fundraisers. Dedicated to helping those in need, the company has created a campaign, Building Hope, which fulfills this commitment. The Boy Scouts, Justin Jennings Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Musicians Village, Red Cross, and United Way are among the organizations and individuals 84 Lumber has supported over the years.[5]

Awards[edit]

  • 2015 NAHB/Builders Mutual Insurance Company Safety Award for Excellence, First Place
  • 2015 High Country Home Builders Association Member Awards
  • ProSales Professional Building Product 100 List, 5th largest
  • Forbes' 2016 list of America's 250 Best Mid-Size Employers

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.corporations.state.pa.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?100900
  2. ^ a b Mendelson, Robert. "Building a Business". Pitt Magazine. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "84 Lumber". Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "84 Lumber sales drop by $1 billion". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 15, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rodengen, J.L. (2005). Nothing is impossible. Write Stuff Enterprises Inc. 
  6. ^ "Recovering From the Housing Slump". Leaders Magazine. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Daughter Knows Best: Inside The 84 Lumber Saga". Forbes. Retrieved January 21, 2015. 
  8. ^ "84 Lumber Expanding in Western States". Lumber Building Material Distribution Pros. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  9. ^ "84 Lumber Begins Offering Custom Tiny Homes". PR Newswire. Retrieved March 1, 2016. 

External links[edit]