Big weekend for paint at Ace
A buy-one-get-one deal described as the co-op’s most aggressive promotion ever is bolstering the Oak Brook, Illinois-based co-op’s grand opening of The Paint Studio in some 3,200 stores.
On Saturday and Sunday (May 17 and 18), consumers can get a second gallon for free of either Clark+Kensington or Valspar Optimus.
“This weekend Ace Hardware is inviting millions of homeowners across America to visit their new neighborhood Paint Studio and find the color inspiration they’ve been looking for to complete their next painting project,” said John Surane, executive VP marketing, merchandising and sales for Ace Hardware. “The Buy One, Get One event is the most aggressive promotion we’ve ever offered, and coupled with our award-winning helpful service and new Paint Studio, finding the perfect paint color has never been easier.”
The major idea behind the new Paint Studio, unveiled in late 2013, is that customers seek a more style-inspired and personal paint shopping experience, as opposed to a traditional trip to the hardware store. Ace and Valspar partnered to bring the new format into Ace stores, a move described as a $75 million investment.
Competition in the paint category continues to heat up. While Ace is preparing for its grand opening, Chicago-based True Value revealed plans to roll out to 2,000 stores a new and improved color center, along with a redesigned and refocused website, TrueValuePaint.com.
True Value also says its paint offering is being strengthened by ultra low-VOC colorants and paints that appeal to the environmentally conscious customer.
Ace reports record performance
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. reported today that strong performance in core categories lifted the co-op to what it calls its "best first quarter for both revenues and net income in its 90-year history."
The co-op reported total revenues of $1.1 billion for the first quarter, up 16.8% from the same quarter last year. Net income was $24.4 million, up from $4.4 million in the year-ago quarter.
"While the frigid winter certainly helped our Q1 business, I’m pleased to see our winter categories were less than 20% of our overall growth as all core hardline departments were up sharply and contributed significantly to our increase," said John Venhuizen, Ace president and CEO.
At Ace Retail Holdings, the co-op’s retail arm created with the late 2012 purchase of the Westlake Ace Hardware chain, sales increased 9.8% to $43.7 million. Once again, increased sales of winter goods bolstered sales.
During the quarter, the co-op added 84 new stores to its ranks, while canceling 35 stores. That activity brought the company’s global total store tally to 4,878.
The 3,100 Ace retailers who share POS data showed same-store-sales growth of 5.2%, the company said.
Regarding the company’s first-quarter acquisition of Maine-based regional distributor Emery-Waterhouse, the company said the move "serves as a catalyst to leverage wholesale purchasing power."
In Waco, Texas, Do it Best applauds safety
Do it Best Corp. recognized its Waco, Texas, Retail Service Center (RSC) team for recording four straight years without any lost time due to a safety incident or injury.
At Waco, and elsewhere throughout the Do it Best supply chain, the distributor has added morning stretches, safety tips and peer-to-peer observations into their work culture to proactively prevent safety incidents. The current safety streak is the longest of any of the co-op’s RSCs throughout the United States.
“Our staff culture thrives on a safety-first mentality, which ensures that each team member returns home without an accident or injury,” said Tim Miller, VP retail logistics. “This is a remarkable achievement, and a direct reflection of the outstanding commitment to serving our member-owners safely each and every day.”
The 525,000-sq.-ft. Waco RSC employs 99 people who routinely handle thousands of products, operate numerous pieces of material handling equipment, and move tons of freight on a daily basis. It is one of eight Do it Best Corp. distribution centers.