DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Ace revenues top $5.1 billion

BY HBSDealer Staff

Ace Hardware hit a trifecta of sorts in its most recent year – record net sales, record net income and record shareholder return.

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based co-op reported fourth quarter revenues of $1.2 billion, up 5.8% from the same quarter last year. Net income was $21.5 million, up from $12.1 million in the prior-year period.

CEO John Venhuizen said he was proud of the performance.

[The co-op’s full income statement and balance sheet can be found here.]

“To give you an idea of the success of our retail strategy, we have seen increases in same-store-sales for seven consecutive years, increases in new store growth for five consecutive years and increases in customer transactions for four consecutive years,” he said.

For the full year, the Ace reported consolidated revenues of $5.1 billion, up 1.6% compared to the prior year. Wholesale revenues were up 1.5% to $4.9 billion.

The approximately 3,000 Ace retailers who share daily retail sales data reported a 4.4% increase in retail same-store-sales during the fourth quarter of 2016. That growth was driven by increased customer count and average transaction size.

Same-store-sales at these stores were up 2.5% for the full year.

The co-op also reported a record $157.9 million in patronage dividends, driven by the sales growth, 152 new domestic stores, “and hard work by the entire Ace team,” said Venhuizen.

Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings – the Westlake Ace Hardware chain — were $64.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  This is an increase of 7.7% from the fourth quarter of 2015.  Same-store-sales were up 3.0% versus the prior year with outdoor living and lawn and garden showing the largest increases.

Ace added 152 new domestic stores in fiscal 2016 and cancelled 100 stores.  This brought the Company’s total domestic store count to 4,363 at the end of fiscal 2016, an increase of 52 stores from the end of fiscal 2015. 

On a worldwide basis, Ace added 207 stores in fiscal 2016 and cancelled 103, bringing the worldwide store count to 4,994 at the end of fiscal 2016.

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True Value recognizes high performance

BY HBSDealer Staff

True Value Company’s latest class of “Best Hardware Store in Town” honorees represent a variety of retail formats and come from some exotic locations – from Kula, Hawaii to Kingston, Jamaica.

Here’s the official list:

• Steele’s Hardware; Tannersville, Pa.;
• Burney True Value Hardware; Aberdeen, N.C.;
• Ed Young’s Towne Hardware; Williamsville, N.Y.;
• Morrison True Value; Alpine, Texas;
• Lewis Mercantile Company; Bayfield, Ohio;
• Qualheim’s True Value, Shawano, Wis.;
• Handyman True Value Hardware; Florissant, Mo.;
• Green Valley True Value; Green Valley, Ariz.;
• Wilton Hardware, Wilton, Conn.;
• Nelson True Value; Prairie du Chien, Wis.;
• Anchorage True Value Hardware; Anchorage, Alaska;
• Kula True Value; Kula, Hawaii; and
• Hardware & Lumber Limited; Kingston, Jamaica

According to Tim Mills, VP of Growth for the Chicago-based co-op, each of the honorees has remodeled their store or stores in the last three years. But more than that, they all share an understanding of the five Ps of retail – product, place, price, people, and promotion. And further, they subscribe to the Road Map to Retail Excellence.

“They have the ability to surprise their customers, and give them an amazing experience,” Mills said.

Special mention went to Qualheim’s True Value, the overall “Best Hardware Store in Town” winner.

Honorees were recognized during the general session of the 2017 Spring Reunion in Anaheim, California.

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YouthUp, a program for the kids

BY Ken Clark

Anaheim, California — True Value Foundation introduced YouthUp, a matching gift program designed to help kids succeed in life.

Under the program, when a True Value member donates to various youth-focused not-for-profit organizations in the retailer's  community, True Value will match the donations up to $1,000.

YouthUp was unveiled here at the 2017 True Value Spring Reunion.

To be eligible for matching funds, not-for-profits must be 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charities with missions such as leadership development, entrepreneurship and business, job and school readiness, community service, social skills, nutrition, arts and culture.

The co-op has set aside $100,000 for the program, and requests for matching funds will be processed on a first-come first-some basis.

In rolling out the program, the foundation pointed to some of its youth charity success stories:

• Co-op associates in Chicago have clocked more than 2,500 hours since 2015 as mentors and volunteers and fundraisers for the True Value Boys & Girls Club.

• Some 1,200 retails are engaged in some way giving back to Boys & Girls Clubs

• Since 2009, retailers have donated some 25,000 gallons of paint for schools and clubs, through Painting a Brighter Future;

• True Value suppliers have since 2010 donated more than $4 million in products to Habitat for Humanity

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