Dan Starr feels the need for speed
Indianapolis — Just because things are speeding along, that doesn’t mean it’s time to ease up on the gas.
In so many words, that was one of the messages that Do it Best Corp. CEO Dan Starr delivered to the co-op members during the recent Do it Best Spring Market here at the Indiana Convention Center.
“One of my favorite quotes comes from Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric,” Starr said from the Market Kickoff stage. “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near.”
So far in fiscal 2016, sales are humming along for Do it Best Corp., which operates on a fiscal year that ends in July and which doesn’t report quarterly. Top line sales are up 6% year to date. Still, he cautioned against a if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it mentality. Rather, he said there’s no time like the present to work for improvement.
“If you’re waiting for the perfect time to grow your business, stop waiting because the time is now,” Starr said. It’s also a good time to grab advice from a lumber trader, invest in new product categories or enhance a customer’s shopping experience with a store makeover, he said.
Soft sales at True Value in Q1
True Value Company reported gross billings of $502 million for the quarter ending April 1, 2017, down 1.6% from the same period a year ago.
Revenue was $347.6 million, a decrease of 2.6%. Relative to the prior year, net margin remained essentially flat.
Wholesale sales, on a gross billings basis, were down 1.6% in the quarter. Retail comparable store sales were down 1.9% for the same period.
Unfavorable weather patterns across the country led to a decline in retail traffic. This drove lower volume at retail resulting in decreased warehouse replenishment.
Despite softer sales, True Value achieved net margin consistent with the prior year reflecting improved product rates. In addition, the company delivered on its commitment to reduce member transportation rates by 25 basis points.
Although weather trends affected quarterly sales, True Value pointed to progress in the execution of its multi-year strategic plan. “We continue to put the independent hardware dealer at the center of everything we do. Coming off a year of record growth including new stores and remodels, stores that have implemented the Destination True Value (DTV) format consistently see increased returns, experiencing comp store sales 200 basis points greater than overall retail comp,” said President and CEO John Hartmann.
During the first quarter, the company added 534,930 square feet of relevant retail space in the form of the DTV format.
Additionally, True Value’s International business continued to see strong growth with gross billings up 13% and handled sales up 18%.
The True Value co-op includes about 4,400 independent retailer locations.
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A paint store distributor goes national
Kirkland, Washington-based Paint Sundries Solutions, Inc. is about ready to begin serving customers in the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest from their newest distribution center in Pennsylvania.
Based in Kirkland, Washington, PSS provides supply chain solutions to retailers and manufacturers in the architectural coatings industry, delivering more than 10,000 paint products to 3,500 retail customers across the country. The company says it moves everything you find in a paint store, except the paint.
The new facility in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is expected to begin moving product in June. The facility adds to PSS’s national network of distribution centers, which includes facilities in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Dallas. With its strategic location in eastern Pennsylvania, the new Harrisburg location will offer next-day service to most of the Northeast, and two-day service to the Midwest and Southeast.
“This is an important milestone for Paint Sundries Solutions,” says Don Walker, CEO of PSS. “With the addition of our Pennsylvania distribution center, our company has the ability to provide the finest products, services and technology to every market in the country.”
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