May 2021
What's happening and what matters in construction supply, from Webb Analytics President Craig Webb.
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$2,000 W-SPF? Here Are an Expert's 15 Factors That Figure Into Lumber's Pricing Kaleidoscope
Last July, Russ Taylor wrote a column asking if W-SPF 2x4 #2 lumber could hit $1,000 per thousand board feet. Today it's near $1,500, so the lumber expert now asks: Could that price reach $2,000? Taylor won't go that far, but he does identify 15 factors that, like the gems in a kaleidoscope, will combine in myriad ways to produce one spot price today and a much different one tomorrow. Watching those factors mix can help you get a sense of whether the resulting lumber prices will be hot or cool. Get the 15 price/supply factors
40 Pages. 17 Graphs. 13 Tables. There's a Lot of New Data on Dealers in the CS150
If you haven't already, here's your opportunity to take a deep dive into what happened with most of America’s most important residential construction product dealers in 2020. Webb Analytics' initial Construction Supply 150 reports in detail on the 150 LBM dealers, home centers, and hardware chains that collectively took in more than $312 billion last year. That's 82% of the retail sales made by all of the tens of thousands of sellers of retail building products nationwide. Now it's available to you at no charge. Just click here, register, click the "submit" button, and look for the link to download the 40-page PDF document. The report lists 150 dealers by company type and revenues and number of facilities for 2020 and 2019. Then come lots of charts on sales, products sold, IT spending--even attitudes toward pot use.
The Construction Supply 150 is sponsored by:
5 Things About Ward Lumber's Move
to Co-Op Ownership That You Can Use
You might never want to turn your construction supply operation into a co-op, where the employees collectively hold all the power. Even so, Ward Lumber's decision to do just that contains useful lessons for any dealer. Here are 5 things the news reports omitted.
81 Job Changes at LMC, Do it Best and 58 Other Companies Mark the Latest People News
Co--ops and distributors generated some of the most notable people news in LBM since late April. Paul Ryan (right) succeeded John Somerville as president and CEO of Lumbermens Merchandising Corporation. And at Do it Best, Russ Kathrein (below, right) will succeed Gary Nackers (below, left) as VP of LBM. Both Somerville and Nackers are retiring. Among distributors, Fencing Supply Group named Andrea Hogan as CEO and Jeff Cook as EVP of M&A. Elsewhere, Mark Hayes was named president of Kodiak Building Partners units Forest Tek and Overseas Lumber, both based in the Florida Keys.
Jack Mackin was named head of Concord Lumber. Beacon Building Products picked Christine Stroh Reddy as EVP and General Counsel. SRS Distribution named Sean Boles as VP of Fleet and New Branch Expansion. Nick Brady, VP of Human Resources at Big C Lumber, became a co-owner. And in California, John Ehrig was named executive director of the West Coast Lumber and Building Material Association. More
US LBM, SRS Spring Forward to Lead Recent Acquisitions and Openings Charge
M&A, openings, and closures activity through the first days of May now is running 50% ahead of last year's pace. That's thanks in big part of US LBM's just-announced purchase of Texas-based Higginbotham Bros. Through May 4, there have been 179 deals, openings, or closures. There were only 121 such actions by this point in 2020, but note that the market didn't get hot until late last year. See the latest deals and openings
Here's an Ovation for a Special Dealer
I was both bemused and bewildered when I saw this piano in an Arrow Lumber & Hardware branch in Washington State 10 years ago. What I didn't know is that owner Robert "Barney" Wagner purposely had a piano installed in all seven of his lumberyards. Wagner--a Vietnam vet, saxophone player, classic car nut and Hoo-Hoo member along with being an LBM exec--died on March 14. He was 73. Here's his obit. I hope a reader will go to one of those pianos and play a tune for me.

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