Weak housing market claims another victim; Bluff City's 84 Lumber closing

Rick Wagner • Apr 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Bluff City 84 Lumber Co. is one of 30 stores the owners are closing across the country.

The closing statement cited the slumping housing market as reason for the closure.

84 Lumber spokesmen Jeff Nobers, vice president of marketing and public relations, and Robyn L. Hall, the company’s public relations manager made the announcement.

That leaves the Abingdon, Va., store as the last one in the greater Tri-Cities.

Hall said the Bluff City site will be sold.

According to a news release from the company, based in Eighty-Four, Pa., the Bluff City operation was among 14 stores that “have closed due to low or no housing growth in their markets.” Six were closed because of the company lacks resource sor store to serve the communities, and the rest are being consolidated into existing stores.

Frank Cicero, the privately held company's executive vice president of store operations, said Monday the move will help 84 Lumber weather the housing market decline.

The store closings will affect about 230 employees, according to spokesman Jeff Nobers. “These moves allow us to deploy our assets into core markets that are presently maintaining a reasonable level of housing activity and we view as solid growth areas when the building market recovers,” Cicero said. Last month, 84 Lumber consolidated nine stores into other facilities.

84 Lumber has 368 stores and 13 manufacturing facilities in 37 states. Several stores and plants are "mothballed" and will reopen when conditions allow, the company said. The company closed its Kingsport location April 6, 2006.

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