Ace recognizes its Vendors of the Year
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. recognized seven vendors for their superior commitment and service to the hardware cooperative, its retailers and customers at the 2014 Spring Convention and Exhibits held February 24-26 in Houston.
This year’s collection of Ace Vendor of the Year award winners are:
• Allway Tools, a premier manufacturer of paint sundries and specialized tools, based in the Bronx, N.Y.
• Berry Plastics, a leading provider of value-added plastic consumer packaging and engineered materials, based in Evansville, Ind.
• DeWalt, a leading manufacturer of industrial power tools, based in Baltmiore, Md.
• Duracell, headquartered in Toronto and part of the Procter & Gamble Company, Durcell is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of high-performance alkaline batteries.
• Scotts, a premier brand of fertilizers and grass seed, part of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, based in Marysville, Ohio.
• W. J. Dennis, the Ace Hardware International Vendor of the Year, based in Elgin, Ill., a leading manufacturer of weatherstripping products.
In addition, Leominster, Mass., based Leaktite, a leading manufacturer of buckets, pails, trays and liners, was recognized as the Ace Hardware Foundation Vendor of the Year. In 2013, Leaktite created the colorful, standout buckets used during the Foundation’s first-ever bucket promotion benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“The vendors that we celebrate this week demonstrate an industry-leading product management and development discipline, meet our rigid supply chain requirements and actively assist Ace in driving sales,” said Frank Carroll, General Merchandise Manager, Ace Hardware Corporation.
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True Value Q4 gross billings up 1.3%
Chicago-based True Value Company reported gross billings of $457.3 million for the quarter ending Dec. 28, an increase of 1.3 % from $451.5 million for the prior year quarter.
Revenue was $340.7 million, an increase of 0.2%. The co-op posted quarterly earnings of $12.5 million, down 57% from $29.1 million for the same period a year ago. Last year’s earnings were inflated by a $16.5 million non-recurring gain. Excluding that gain, earnings were down 0.8%.
For the full year, True Value also reported gross billings of $1.9 billion, an increase of 0.9% from the same period a year ago. Revenue was $1,411.5 million, an increase of 1.0%. Comparable-store sales to retailers were up 2.4% on a gross billings basis and up 1.6% on a revenue basis. Retailer comp store sales were up 2.1%, based on over 1,600 reporting retailers.
The co-op posted earnings of $55.3 million, a decrease of 26.2% or $19.6 million, from $74.9 million for the same period a year ago. The profit decrease was primarily driven by a 2012 fourth quarter litigation settlement gain of an ongoing matter. The profit decrease was 5.3%, excluding the one-time gain.
“We ramped things up in late summer, right through December, and I’m pleased to report we ended the year with increases in gross billings, revenue and comparable store sales,” said President and CEO John Hartmann. “Our largest increase in both retail and wholesale comp store sales was in the farm, ranch, auto & pet product category. This category was up at wholesale 11.2%.”
The company reported the earnings at its True Value Reunion in Atlanta, which ended Monday.
True Value turbocharges app for ordering
Atlanta — True Value Co.’s Special Order App for mobile devices is putting more power into the hands of retailers, according to the co-op.
What began as a concept about 18 months ago, the True Value mobile ordering app is now in its sixth month of operation. It’s in use at about 1,800 retailers making thousands of orders, said Rosalee Hermens, VP and chief information officer for True Value.
One of the valuable functions of the app is its ability to show pricing and margin information on any product in the store or warehouse, making comparison shopping and product look up fast and easy, she said.
New functions unveiled here at the True Value Reunion in Atlanta include the ability for a retailer to view order history, to receive order status updates and to hide the warehouse price. The last function can be helpful if the retailer is using the app in a customer-facing situation.
According to Hermens, True Value’s IT strategy is basically to boost the competitiveness of True Value now and in the future. That includes inward-looking products at the warehouse or corporate level, and also outward-looking tools connecting retailers and customers.
For retailers, downloading the app to their smartphone will only help both areas. She stressed that the process takes no more than three minutes, probably a lot less, she said.
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