84 Lumber Company Opening Milestone 400th Store in Ephrata, Pennsylvania

Aug 05, 1997, 01:00 ET from 84 Lumber Company

    EIGHTY-FOUR, Pa., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In 1956, a small lumber yard
 opened in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, taking its name from the tiny
 Washington County town in which it was located.  This month, 84 Lumber Company
 -- now with stores in 30 states and the largest privately owned home
 improvement retailer in the U.S. -- will be opening its 400th store in
 Ephrata, Pennsylvania.
     The company, which still maintains its corporate headquarters in
 Eighty-Four, Pennsylvania, chose the small southeastern Pennsylvania town of
 Ephrata for the milestone opening because it is representative of 84 Lumber's
 long-standing business philosophy.
     "Although 84 Lumber stores can now be found from Long Island to
 Los Angeles, we've never wavered from our `small town' business approach.
 Our aim has always been to be a strong member of the community, staffed by
 neighbors helping neighbors.  Located in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch
 country, Ephrata perfectly reflects that ideal," says 84 Lumber President and
 Chief Operating Officer Maggie Hardy Magerko.
     84 Lumber, which registered sales of $1.5 billion in 1996 and is the
 largest home improvement retailer of any kind in the country when ranked by
 sales to professional contractors and remodelers, was founded by Maggie's
 father, Joseph Hardy, who continues on as the company's chairman and CEO.
     The roots of 84 Lumber go back to Mr. Hardy's decision to leave the family
 business -- Pittsburgh's Hardy & Hayes Jewelers -- in 1954, and strike out on
 his own.  Pooling resources with his two younger brothers to purchase a tract
 of land, Joseph Hardy soon opened a lumber yard selling to home builders in
 the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
     In 1956, the lumber yard, already a $3 million-a-year business, began
 selling "cash-and-carry" lumber to consumers, and the 84 Lumber store of today
 was born.
     Within five years, Mr. Hardy began to open new 84 Lumber stores, following
 a "no frills" approach to keep overhead low.
     "Our senior management has never had fancy offices or big expense
 accounts.  And our stores are not heated or air conditioned.  Keeping our
 costs down has always allowed us to offer quality products at very competitive
 prices," says Joseph Hardy.
     84 Lumber also boasts an award-winning "Affordable Homes Across America"
 program, providing complete new home build packages starting at $17,000.
     This October in Pittsburgh, 84 Lumber will launch its prototype Building
 Solutions Showroom, a revolutionary new design center concept for the home
 building and remodeling industry.

SOURCE 84 Lumber Company