DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Ace hits billion-dollar-mark in Q2

BY Ken Clark

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. reported total revenues of $1.071 billion for the second quarter of 2012, up 4.8% from 2011.

Merchandise sales to comparable domestic stores increased 4.3%, in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the prior year. Net income, however, declined to $14.9 million, compared with $34.6 million earned in 2011.

“We were pleased with the second-quarter results," said Ray Griffith, Ace president and CEO. “Despite the early spring weather that pushed sales into the first quarter of this year, we were able to deliver strong sales growth in the second quarter. In addition, we successfully completed the refinancing of our debt and expect interest savings over the next several years that will far exceed the loss we incurred on the early extinguishment of debt.”

For the six-month period ended June 30, total revenues were $1.979 billion, an increase of 5.5% from 2011.

Ace added 36 new domestic stores and canceled 35 domestic stores in the second quarter and ended the quarter with a total domestic store count of 4,078.

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Do it Best raises a house in Fort Wayne

BY Ken Clark

More than a 100 Do it Best Corp. staff, vendors and member-owners began building a new home for Habitat for Humanity in the co-op’s home town of Fort Wayne, Ind. 

The project is scheduled to run through early October. In addition to fully staffing the build, Do it Best Corp. is also completely funding the project, including materials and professional service provided by licensed specialists. This is the second company build the co-op has sponsored, with the first coming in 2006.

“Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful, important organization that helps people get back on their feet and thrive independently, and it keeps people rooted in their communities,” said Do it Best president and CEO Bob Taylor said.

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Ace Hardware to move into former Walgreens location

BY Ken Clark

A small chain of Ace Hardware stores in the Midwest plans to add another unit — this one in Duluth, Minn. — by November, according to an article in the Duluth News Tribune

Craig Burggraf and his two brothers, who own Ace hardware stores in Grand Rapids, S.D.; Fosston, Minn.; and Grand Forks, N.D., recently purchased a former Walgreen’s location and are currently remodeling it, the newspaper reported. The 10,500-sq.-ft. building, constructed in 1991, will carry a full hardware assortment, Benjamin Moore paint, Craftsman tools plus a line of Stihl tools.

Downtown Duluth has been without a neighborhood hardware store since 2010, when an Ace Hardware operator closed. Prior to that, Daugherty Hardware closed in 2008.

Burggraf said he’s already been contacted by some former employees of Daugherty Hardware and the downtown Ace Hardware about jobs.

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