"The building material supply industry in the US includes 50,000 companies with combined annual sales of $250 billion. Large companies include Home Depot and Lowe's. Some independently owned stores belong to wholesale cooperatives like Ace Hardware and True Value, that buy materials in bulk, and resell them to members. Despite consolidation at the top, the industry remains fragmented. A large individual store has annual revenue of $10 million.
The industry is driven mainly by residential real estate construction and renovation. Large chains have expanded rapidly in recent years by focusing on the home improvement market, with contractor sales as a sideline. Smaller companies, often family-owned lumberyards, can compete effectively by catering to contractors (for whom price is less important than other services), through a wider range of specialty products and services, and by serving areas unattractive to the big box stores because of limited customer concentration.
Products, Operations & Technology
Building materials are sold primarily through two distribution channels: wholesale supply outlets and retail outlets like home stores, hardware stores, and lumberyards. The two major types of customers are the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) customer, and the small or midsized construction contractor. (Large contractors often buy directly from manufacturers.)
Products include everything involved in building a house: lumber, hardware, paint, plumbing and electrical products, tools, floor coverings, wallpaper, and lawn and garden products. In addition to selling products, many companies sell installation services (so-called "installed sales") using their own or outside contractors."
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This site was developed to help forge relationships between vendors and maintenance professionals in the multi-family, hospitality and facility trade.