Responding to weak market, 84 Lumber designs new store

Pro dealer 84 Lumber is testing a consumer-oriented prototype at its corporate headquarters in Eighty Four, Pa., a format that it hopes to roll out to rural markets underserved by big boxes. 

The LBM company, No. 2 on the HCN Top 200 Pro Dealer Scoreboard, hopes to transform 70 of its lumberyards into retail stores that feature several aisles of such basic items as painting supplies and plumbing fixtures, as well as some gas grills, sheds and backyard gyms. Kitchen and bath design centers will also offer decking, railing and doors. Cosmetic changes to the stores will include brighter lighting and a more open floor plan. 

The company has no intention of moving away from its builder/contractor customer base, according to Jeff Nobers, VP marketing and public relations. The company just hopes to double its consumer business, which now accounts for approximately 10% of sales, as a way of generating revenue during the housing slump. 

“Our plan is to roll out roughly 15 [consumer stores] per quarter,” Nobers told Home Channel News.