Nothing Is Impossible: The Legend of Joe Hardy and 84 Lumber
Nothing is Impossible: The Legend of Joe Hardy and 84 Lumber chronicles the remarkable life of Joe Hardy and his company’s rise to the top of the building supplies industry. With a foreword by former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Nothing is Impossible: The Legend of Joe Hardy and 84 Lumber vividly relates how Hardy became the indefatigable entrepreneur who has never wavered from his conviction that anything can be accomplished through persistence and hard work. When Hardy and his two brothers founded 84 Lumber’s predecessor, Green Hills Lumber, in 1948 to service Western Pennsylvania’s burgeoning homebuilding industry, Hardy soon realized the venture would never satisfy his requirements for growth. After he established a new cash-and-carry concept of selling lumber to builders, he recognized its potential to increase turnover—as well as profit and growth—and established 84 Lumber in the small farming community of Eighty-Four, Pennsylvania. With his knack for sizing people up, Hardy hired only those who shared his extraordinary work ethic and who had the potential to grow with the company. For decades, 84 Lumber thrived by selling building supplies to do-it-yourself customers. When fierce competition arrived from big-box retailers in the 1980s, 84 Lumber survived by rededicating itself to the builders and contractors who had been customers from the beginning. Hardy spearheaded the seemingly impossible effort to redirect 84 Lumber’s focus and has since become the nation’s largest privately owned building supplies retailer. By the mid-2000s, 84 Lumber had grown to 453 stores in 35 states, employing more than 7,000 associates nationwide with revenues of $2.5 billion a year. 84 Lumber’s plans to open 50 to 60 new stores a year in the coming decades, many in growing metropolitan areas, have brought it full-circle—from rural communities to big cities—and back to the professional builder, where The Legend of Joe Hardy and 84 Lumber began.
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