Carter Lumber Consolidates Stores to Chase Housing Starts

Carter Lumber Company closed 26 stores in Ohio and Indiana on Nov. 1 as part of a strategy to focus its capital on housing markets that offer more opportunities for growth.

November 01, 2013

Carter Lumber Company closed 26 stores in Ohio and Indiana on Nov. 1 as part of a strategy to focus its capital on housing markets that offer more opportunities for growth.
 
Previously, the Kent-Ohio-based building supply company quietly opened 10 new outlets, some in debut markets such as Baltimore and Washington, D.C. where housing starts combined could hit as much as many as 6,000 units over the next year.
 
“Closing 26 stores isn’t the greatest thing to do but if it supports your future growth, which we firmly believe this move does, and if it comes at a point of time when we are growing like we are, then for the long-term growth of our company, these are the moves to be made,” said David McCafferty, vice president of marketing for Carter Lumber. “Getting into the markets that will facilitate us on a future basis is part of what we are doing, and with that you are going to leave some markets, and you are going to consolidate some stores out that just aren’t part of that model.”
 
Among the examples of Carter’s consolidation strategy is closing the smaller plumbing outlet in Corunna, Ind., and servicing that market through the larger yard in town. Smaller operations in Anderson and Shelbyville, Ind., also are being consolidated into the Franklin and Muncie, Ind., operations. In all, Carter Lumber will have 143 stores operating in 11 states. The company’s website previously showed that company operated 170 stores in 11 Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast states under such banners as Carter-Jones Lumber, Holmes Lumber, Kempsville Building Materials, Knight Home Center, and Griggs Lumber, in addition to the flagship brand.
 
Carter was a $500 million to $600 million company in terms of annual revenue going into the 2008 recession, and this year is closing in on the $1 billion mark.
 
“We significantly grew our business during the downturn years and some of the ways we’ve done that is by going into new market and opening facilities in markets where there is tremendous opportunity for growth,” said McCafferty. “A lot of companies might close their stores because they are struggling. We’re not. We’re doing it at the right time in order to facilitate our future growth. “
 
Carter recently announced the promotions of three executives and tapped Jeff Donley as president and chief operating officer, Jeff Seder as senior vice president, and Kip Gleckler for the newly-created post of senior vice president field operations.
 
 

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