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84 LUMBER REACHES $1 BILLION ANNUAL SALES GOAL

 EIGHTY FOUR, Pa., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- 84 Lumber, the nation's largest privately owned building materials supplier, has reported annual sales over $1 billion for the first time in its 37-year history. The company exceeded the $1 billion goal today at 10:15 a.m., according to CEO/founder Joe Hardy. Hardy says this accomplishment can be attributed to the company's renewed commitment to contractor sales. "Builders and remodelers appreciate our policy of having a service-oriented contractor sales representative in every store," Hardy said.
 Hardy says re-merchandising of the chain's 375 stores combined with a strong housing and remodeling market to push sales over the $1 billion mark in December.
 The company's buying strategy also played a major role, according to Hardy. "We had materials when our competitors didn't," he said. "Our purchasing people looked at factors like the spotted owl controversy, the Oakland, Calif., fire, and Hurricane Andrew and foresaw scarcity of materials in 1993. They worked hard to make sure we had plenty of inventory. Also, we had long-term agreements with several major suppliers that guaranteed us a supply of basic commodities," he said.
 Hardy says the company has been working hard to boost sales and profitability in recent years. "We streamlined our inventories and cut our product lines by almost one-third," he said. "We needed to get back to our original niche as the no-frills, low-cost provider of basic building commodities."
 Hardy, who will be 71 in January, founded 84 Lumber in 1956, when he opened his first store in the town of Eighty Four, about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh. Today he owns 375 stores in 31 states and plans to add 20 stores every year until the end of the decade.
 In recent years 84 Lumber has expanded its products and services to include full-service kitchen design centers and a full line of packages, including decks, garages, mini-barns, play equipment and 30 Affordable Home packages.
 84 Lumber is known not only for its "no-frills" approach (no heat or air conditioning in its stores), but also for its "one-on-one" service and its pre-loading policy (i.e. loading products into a customer's vehicle before the bill is paid). "We feel that this kind of personalized service is what attracts cona?ctors and serious do-it-yourselfers to 84 Lumber," Hardy said.
 -0- 12/3/93
 /CONTACT: Judy Donohue of 84 Lumber Company, 412-941-8497/


CO: 84 Lumber Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: CST SU:

KT-DM -- PG003 -- 0164 12/03/93 10:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 3, 1993
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