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Busy beaver chain joins true value.

Busy Beaver, a regional home center chain headquartered in Pittsburgh, has joined True Value to increase its stores' buying power, brand recognition and growth.

Busy Beaver Home Centers was founded in 1962 as a distributor of roofing, lumber and building material products to professional contractors and DIY customers. The independent chain operates 16 full-line home improvement centers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

"They're going to help us grow more aggressively," Steve Derr, the chain's marketing director, says.

"One of the things they're going to help us do is grow into alternative markets."

To benefit from True Value's national branding, Busy Beaver will add the co-op's logo signage to the exteriors of all of its home improvement centers.

True Value will help the chain to diversify into smaller-format stores that are 8,000 to 10,000 square feet in size, Derr says. Busy Beaver's stores are typically 30,000-square-foot home centers.

Busy Beaver will transfer much of its product ordering to the co-op and also carry some of True Value's private label products.

"We are definitely going to buy a majority of our products from True Value," Derr says. "But where the relationships make sense with our existing suppliers, we'll continue to keep those relationships."

Busy Beaver will not change its name to include True Value in it, but it will use the co-op's branding on interior and exterior signage, as well as marketing materials.

"This is going to help us become more relevant and continue to grow. The good thing is, people will identify us with True Value and that will really help with brand recognition," Derr says.

The chain should have a plan in place for branding all of the stores by the end of 2015, starting with the Busy Beaver store in Ashtabula, Ohio, he says.

True Value's Cleveland Regional Distribution Center will service Busy Beaver. The chain's home improvement centers will join more than 20 other independently owned and operated True Value stores operating in the Pittsburgh area.

True Value was an attractive partner because the co-op's strategic goals of engagement and growth fit well with Busy Beaver's, Derr says.

"Busy Beaver and True Value are both focused on transformational change to better serve our customers,"

Busy Beaver CEO Joe Kallen says. "This fundamental alignment in strategy is what sold us on selecting True Value as our growth partner."

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Title Annotation:NEWSMAKERS
Publication:Hardware Retailing
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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