Do it Best hands out $116 million in rebates

Indianapolis -- Do it Best distributed $116 million in dealer rebates during a fall market that also saw the election of a new group of directors. During the traditional CEO message to shareholders, Bob Taylor offered a “to do list” for hardware stores as well as a call for perseverance in the face of “one of the most challenging years in memory.”

Wholesale sales declined 5.6 percent to $2.65 billion in fiscal 2008, but Taylor pointed to an industry leading 2.13 percent overhead that helped pave the way to the third best net profit performance in the company’s history.

Voice picking in the distribution centers has led to 99.6 percent accuracy and a three-year return on investment, he said. He also pointed to a Product Information Management (PIM) program to improve visibility.

Taylor’s advice to dealers, and all companies faced with difficult times, ranged from a simple examination of objectives -- and analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats -- and managing cash flow.

In fiscal 2008, more than 135 new members joined Do it Best. One reason was its “rock solid financial foundation,” Taylor said.

“We’re absolutely going to be tested in the year ahead, and I can’t think of any better word than ‘perseverance’ as to what it’s going to take,” said Taylor. “And together, working with you to make the best even better, we will persevere.”

For the first time in 47 years, Don Wolf, the former president of the co-op, did not attend the market. According to Taylor, Wolf was receiving treatment for non-hodgkins lymphoma.

The market runs through Oct. 14.

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