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84 Lumber, the country's sixth-largest home-improvement retailer, is bringing its recent format update to its Depew location.

Work has begun on the 84 Lumber at 3317 Walden Ave. to create a more consumer-friendly "store within a store" that will offer a greater selection of general hardware supplies. 84 Lumber, which is the nation's second-largest "pro" dealer, catering more to professional builders and contractors than average do-it-yourselfers, plans to beef up its consumer offerings by building and retrofitting dozens of what it's dubbed the "84-Plus Lumber" concept.

The hybrid lumber yard/hardware store connects a conventional 10,000-square-foot lumberyard with a 10,600-square-foot, climate-controlled hardware store showroom stocking more than 11,000 items, approximately triple the amount of hardware products carried by a standard 84 Lumber. The new-look stores offer an additional 7,000 products, including plumbing, electrical, hardware, paint, and power and hand tools, while continuing to stock bulk building materials.

Depew store manager Chuck Frerichs said the renovation project is under way and should be completed by late March. Frerichs said the expanded format will appeal to both professional contractors and handy homeowners.

The company has a total of 10 stores in Western New York, including facilities in Depew, the Town of Tonawanda, Elma, Orchard Park, Niagara Falls, Batavia, Chaffee, Dunkirk, Jamestown and Olean.

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