For True Value Company, the proof was in the numbers for its full fiscal year in 2016: namely that its strategic growth plan was bringing in results.
Most notably, the company reported net margin of $23.7 million, up 24.4% year-over-year.
The co-op also reported total gross billings of $2.07 billion for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2016, up 2.0% from 2015. Revenue was $1.51 billion, up 1.1%.
Its Destination True Value (DTV) format stores performed measurably better, with comparable store sales up 3.7%. Total comparable store sales were up 2.5%, with increases occurring in 11 of 12 U.S. regions and 6 out of 9 merchandise categories, led by Farm Ranch Auto & Pet, Lawn & Garden, and Paint.
2016 was also True Value's sixth consecutive year of increased annual sales and third year of sales from new stores exceeding the lost sales from terminated stores.
According to president and CEO John Hartmann, this was evidence that the co-op's strategic growth plan was creating long-term profitability.
“True Value is two years into executing a plan that will serve our retailers’ needs and ensure their long-term growth and profitability, making them relevant for generations to come,” said president and CEO John Hartmann. “We have broken a nearly decade-long trend of negative net new sales growth; for the past three consecutive years, the sales volume from our new stores has exceeded sales from terminated stores. I am proud of our accomplishments in the areas of growth, infrastructure improvements, product assortments and operations.”
Other notable benchmarks for the co-op in 2016: a record 101 remodeled stores and record 68 completed ground-up stores; retrofits of three distribution centers, enabling two-day shipping; average retail sales up 4.7% in the Customized True Blue assortment program; an international sales boost of 14.5%; an 11.6% increase in paint sales; and a $3 million reduction in transportation costs via a fleet transition.
Click here for the full infographic illustrating these results.