True Value posts first-quarter gains

Pointing to success of an expanded farm, ranch, auto and pet assortments, Chicago-based True Value posted gains in gross billings and revenues for the first quarter ended March 29.

The co-op reported gross billings of $460.1 million for the quarter, up 3.6% from $444.2 million for the same period a year ago. Revenue was $331.5 million, an increase of 6.0%.

The cooperative posted a quarterly net margin of $0.9 million, up slightly from $0.4 million a year ago.

A pet display at the recent True Value Reunion in Atlanta

"We had a great first quarter from a sales perspective, driven by the ongoing rollout of our expanded farm, ranch, auto and pet assortments and strong demand in winter weather-related product classes that carry higher gross margin rates,” said president and CEO John Hartmann. "We continue to add new stores and assist our retailers in investing in their stores by remodeling to the Destination True Value format. We also installed new paint colorant systems in about 1,000 stores." 

Retail comp-store sales were up 7.3% in the quarter with increases in each region of the country and in each of our nine product categories, the company said. Co-op revenue was up 6.0% and up in all but one region of the country and in seven of nine product categories. The increase was led by the farm, ranch, auto and pet, seasonal, plumbing and paint categories.

Gross billings from new stores exceeded lost revenue from terminated stores by $6.9 million. Wholesale comparative-store sales, on a gross billings basis, were up 2.0% in the quarter.

The net margin increase for the quarter was primarily driven by two factors: higher sales volume out of the regional distribution network and a higher average gross margin rate. The latter resulted from a shift in the mix toward more regular replenishment orders versus promotional or discounted product orders.

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