Biz Beat

Longtime Turlock lumber company closes its doors

Valley Distributors Inc. in Turlock, seen Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, unexpectedly closed its doors this month after roughly five decades in business.
Valley Distributors Inc. in Turlock, seen Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, unexpectedly closed its doors this month after roughly five decades in business.

Some unfortunate news to report this week: Valley Distributors Inc. in Turlock has shut its doors.

The company, which sold lumber, windows, hardware and doors for nearly 50 years, announced the closure on its Facebook page:

“With great sadness and regret, we announce that we have closed our doors for the final time this past Friday. Thank all of you for 48 years of friendships and memories! We wish each of our longtime and loyal employees the very best.”

Valley Distributors was located on Paulson Road, on the south side of Turlock.

I tried to call Valley Distributors, but got only a recorded message similar to the Facebook post. And the company’s website page had been deactivated by the end of the week.

It’s hard to see any locally owned business close down, particularly one that has been around for so long. And, judging by the dozens of responses to Valley Distributors’ announcement, the company had a lot of fans.

“Thank you for your company’s help while remodeling our ranch home,” reads one. “We truly enjoyed the convenience of a family-owned business in our home town and we’re happy to purchase a majority of our remodel building supplies at your store. Valley Distributors will be missed without a doubt. Best of luck on your next endeavor.”

If anyone with Valley Distributors wants to contact me about the closure, or the 48 years in business before it, I would love to hear from you.

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

Our neighbors to the north are growing fast, it seems.

According to a press release that landed this week, U-Haul has named Manteca No. 9 among growing cities in the United States for 2015. U-Haul would be a company with a good perspective on that, tracking the number of people who rent moving trucks coming into the city compared with those leaving.

According to the release, “U-Haul locations in Manteca saw 56.3 percent of truck rental customers coming into the city. ... It welcomed 60 percent more U-Haul arrivals year-over-year, while its departures were up 36 percent over the same period.”

It’s not clear what No. 1 on the list is – U-Haul is releasing them one by one, culminating with the last city on Monday.

And finally, a report issued this week by the University of the Pacific foresees more good economic news for the region and the state in the months and years ahead.

According to the report, regularly released by Eberhart School of Business Director Jeff Michael, California will continue to see steady economic growth for the next several years.

“The regional outlook finds that San Joaquin and Alameda counties led the state in population growth in 2014 and 2015, and largely as a result, we expect the Oakland and Stockton metropolitan areas to lead Northern California job growth in 2016 after five years of San Francisco and San Jose posting the fastest growth,” the university said in a news release announcing the report. “While we expect a slowdown from incredible growth rates of recent years in Silicon Valley, its dynamic economy is the driving force behind much of the inland growth as high costs and scarce labor cause its economic growth to spill into neighboring areas.”

In the Modesto area, Michael expects the unemployment rate to continue a slow improvement, dropping to 8.3 percent by 2019. His prediction for Merced, where the unemployment rate is higher, shows a sharper decline, from 11 percent in 2015 to 9.3 percent in 2019.