June 2021
What's happening and what matters in construction supply, from Webb Analytics President Craig Webb.
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How Dominant Are LBM's 5 Biggest Dealers? This Count Suggests They Hold Half the Market
Recent acquisitions by Builders FirstSource and US LBM led us to wonder: If you took all retail sales of building materials last year and then subtracted the purchases made at the three biggest home centers plus all the hardware and paint stores, how big a share of what's left do the top 5 LBM dealers have? The answer: About 50%. Even if you question our math and methods, it's hard to contest the notion that LBM is moving toward the kind of market concentration we've seen at builders and in many other industries. More
Katerra Reportedly Is Shutting Down. Expect Conflicting Analyses on What Went Wrong
Katerra, the multi-billion-dollar company created to revolutionize construction, is closing, a source close to the company confirmed to Webb Analytics. In a sense, the news is no shock, as stories about managerial ineptitude and financial skullduggery have swirled about Katerra for years. The company's demise will likely lead to conflicting post-mortems about what ultimately killed the company and what it all means for the future of construction and construction supply. We spot three schools of thought already. More
Hundreds Have Downloaded the CS150 ...
... How about you? If you haven't yet, here's your opportunity to dive deep into what happened with most of America’s most important residential construction product dealers in 2020. Webb Analytics' Construction Supply 150 covers 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 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.
(Don't Care to Read? Here Are Two Alternatives)
Enjoy podcasts? Then check out this episode of Bradley Hartmann's "Behind Your Back" podcast in which Brad and I talk about the most note- worthy news from the CS150. Click here to listen.
Click here to watch a 35-minute webinar summarizing key findings in the CS150 report. It's hosted by me and features commentary by industry experts Graham Rigby of Epicor and Steve Yates of Buildxact.
The Construction Supply 150 is sponsored by:
Coming June 9: Lumber Price and Supply Trends and How to Manage the Craziness
In last month's lead article, Russ Taylor speculated about $2,000 W-SPF prices, Within days, it was a reality. Now hear Taylor talk about what's next at a webinar I'll be hosting on June 9. It'll differ from the usual price-centric events because we'll also have advice from Ruth Kellick-Grubbs on how to manage through all your challenges this summer. And for local perspective, we'll have C.R. Molitich of IMOC Building Supplies in Montana. It's all free, and it's sponsored by ECI. Click here to register.
While the biggest headlines in construction supply M&A during May involved acquisitions by US LBM and Builders FirstSource, they were only part of the story. Webb Analytics spotted five other deals involving 22 branches as well as eight greenfield openings. GMS, TAL Holdings, and SRS Distribution were among the buyers, a small dealer in Grand Rapids, MN, changed hands, and ABC Supply opened a new store. See all the deals
Webb Analytics' latest roundup of LBM people in the news covers 65 job changes at 43 companies. Among them: The Lester Group picked Kevin Silveira (above) to be VP for Building Supply. Get the report
Here's a New Yarn on a Finnish Wood Innovation
Longtime Webb Analytics Report readers might recall this photo from our December 2019 newsletter about a Finnish company called Spinnova that found a way to convert wood pulp into fabric. To show what it can do, Spinnova combined its product with lyocell, another fabric created from wood cellulose, to produce the gown shown here, worn by Henna Virkkunen, a member of the European Parliament. Unlike many textiles, which often require harmful chemicals in their production, Spinnova claims its fiber is made without harmful chemicals.

Now Spinnova has announced it has teamed up with Suzano, a wood pulp producer, to invest 22 million Euros ($26.9 million) to build in Finland the first commercial-scale fiber production facility. The product is expected to be available at the end of 2022. It aims to produce 1 million tons of the product annually within 10 years.

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