84 Lumber

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84 Lumber Company
Industry Building materials and retail
Founded November 14, 1956; 64 years ago (1956-11-14)[1]
Headquarters Eighty Four, Pennsylvania
Key people
Joe Hardy (founder)
Maggie Hardy Magerko (president and owner)
Products Building materials and supplies
Revenue Increase$2.5 billion (2015)
Number of employees
approx. 5,000
File:84 Lumber sign - cropped.jpg
Typical 84 Lumber sign

84 Lumber is an American building materials supply company. Founded in 1956[2] by Joseph Hardy, it derives its name from the town of Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, 20 miles (32 km) south of Pittsburgh, where its headquarters are based.

84 Lumber owns and operates over 250 stores,[3] and the company operates components plants, door shops, installation centers and wood products shops in 30 states. As of 2012, they reportedly employ 4,900 employees.[4]


Located 20 mi (32 km) south of Pittsburgh, 84 Lumber established its roots in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, a rural community that has endured as a farmland community. 84 Lumber flourished with the funds and determination of Ed Ryan and Jack Kunkle, Joe Hardy and his two brothers Norman and Bob Hardy. Together, these men collected 84,000 dollars for land and buildings to grow their business.[5] As the business expanded, Hardy and his brothers became sole owners of the company.

84 Lumber established a cash and carry system; customers paid by cash or check, if merchandise was unable to be “carried” out, an additional charge was implemented to have the item personally delivered.

Throughout the 1960s, 84 Lumber continued to expand locations. This was accomplished largely by keeping overhead low and adopting a 'no frills' warehouse-style approach to most of its stores (many of which are unheated, even in cold-climate locations), as most of its clients were commercial customers not overly concerned with aesthetics or the like. But during the 1970s, 84 Lumber’s business grew and the company opened 229 stores.

In 1984, the company undertook an expansion plan to open at least 30 new stores. Along with grand openings, stores were remodeled and renovated from no-frills lumber yards to new and improved building materials stores. In 1987, as the improvement plan generated success the business opened their strict policy of cash-and-carry to options of using credit.[2][5]

In 1991, 84 Lumber topped Pro Sales magazine’s “Dealer 100” list.[5]

After 34 years of running the company, Joe Hardy appointed his daughter Maggie Hardy Magerko president and owner in 1992.[6] Joe Hardy passed 40 percent of the company stock to Maggie that year as well, and added another 40 percent the following year.[5] With a new leader, 84 Lumber continued to expand, opening its 400th store in 1997 in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.[5]

In 1999, 84 Lumber opened its first “84 Plus” retail store in Graysville, Tennessee. The store, designed by Maggie Hardy Magerko, carried about 12,000 products and was meant to increase the company’s profits by selling products at a higher profit margin.[5] Soon enough, over a hundred 84 Plus stores opened.

On December 7, 2002, the company exceeded $2 billion in annual sales for the first time in history.[5] In 2004, the company opened another 18 new stores, most of which located in metropolitan areas that had once been unprofitable.[5]

84 Lumber suffered great losses in sales when the housing market crashed in 2009. Limitless spending on a family-owned resort, poor store site selection and a massive debt in account receivables also contributed to difficult financial conditions for the company.[7] On the brink of bankruptcy, Hardy Magerko leveraged her own personal finances, closed stores and laid off thousands to prevent the company from going bankrupt. With the help of the market, Magerko’s efforts ultimately proved to be successful.

In 2013, 84 Lumber increased sales 27 percent over the prior year, generating $2.1 billion in revenue. In 2016, the company continues to expand and has recently announced plans to open at least a dozen new stores and manufacturing facilities in the West.[8]

Most recently, 84 Lumber introduced Tiny Living by 84 Lumber, its new line of portable homes. With competitively-priced, customizable homes under 200 square feet, Tiny Living strives to appeal to the environmentally and economically friendly do-it-yourselfer.[9]


84 Lumber serves the communities in which they are located by participating in local events and fundraisers. Dedicated to helping those in need, the company has created a campaign, Building Hope, which fulfills this commitment. The Boy Scouts, Justin Jennings Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Musicians Village, Red Cross, and United Way are among the organizations and individuals 84 Lumber has supported over the years.[5]


During the Super Bowl of February 5, 2017, 84 Lumber ran an ad that was highly sympathetic to illegal aliens coming from Mexico by depicting the trek of a mother and daughter pair across Mexico to the US.[10] However, after a review by the Fox Network the company was asked to change the ending of the ad. Viewers have to go to the company's web site to view the ending. It is not clear why a building supply company might support illegal aliens.

The ad also attracted comments from Steve Sailer who pointed out that it depicted illegal aliens as more willing to clean up trash than actual illegal aliens in California.[11]


  1. https://www.corporations.state.pa.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?100900
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mendelson, Robert. "Building a Business". Pitt Magazine. Retrieved August 16, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "84 Lumber". Retrieved September 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "84 Lumber sales drop by $1 billion". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 15, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Rodengen, J.L. (2005). Nothing is impossible. Write Stuff Enterprises Inc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Recovering From the Housing Slump". Leaders Magazine. Retrieved August 16, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Daughter Knows Best: Inside The 84 Lumber Saga". Forbes. Retrieved January 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "84 Lumber Expanding in Western States". Lumber Building Material Distribution Pros. Retrieved April 1, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "84 Lumber Begins Offering Custom Tiny Homes". PR Newswire. Retrieved March 1, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Patrick Coffee (February 2, 2017). "84 Lumber's Ad About a Mexican Family Is Sure to Court Controversy. Was That the Plan All Along?". AdWeek. Retrieved February 5, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Steve Sailer (February 5, 2017). "84 Lumber's Super Bowl Salute to How Illegal Aliens Pick Up Litter Dropped by Natives". The Unz Report. Retrieved February 5, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links