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