By Howard Packowtitz
BLOOMINGTON – Citing local economic and market factors, Alexander Lumber Company has announced it will be merging its Bloomington lumberyard into its LeRoy facility, will close several other lumberyards, and merge others around central Illinois.
The company made the announcement Wednesday, as a source says the Bloomington location at 1707 East Hamilton Road will shut down in March. Nine of the 12 employees at the Hamilton Road lumberyard will lose their jobs, according to the source. The LeRoy lumberyard is located at 7 Demma Drive.
The business will also merge its location in Gilman to lumberyards in Fairbury and Watseka to serve Livingston and Iroquois Counties and the Kankakee area.
In a statement, Alexander Lumber said the closures come after extensive market research which shows it should focus resources on lumberyards located in major metro and mid-sized markets.
“We intend to focus on our core pro builder customer in the Chicago and other mid-sized markets, especially those in Wisconsin, Iowa, and other surrounding states, should any opportunities arise. These are the markets where we have been consistently successful and that allow us to operate to our strengths,” says Russ Kathrein, President/CEO of Alexander Lumber.
“I am excited about the robust growth plans for Alexander Lumber as we move forward. Our new strategic direction allows us to align our resources with the greatest opportunities, while still serving our remaining Central Illinois markets,” says Kathrein. “Manufacturing components and creating innovative, new services to increase our competitive edge serving the pro contractor markets form the key part of our agenda. The consolidation also allows us to focus our future acquisition plans on select businesses that align with our core objectives in both existing and new markets,” said Kathrein in a prepared statement.
Lincoln and Canton are among the other sites slated for closure.
Howard Packowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org