Fastenal assembles double-digit growth
Specialty tools and fastener supplier Fastenal Co. reported fourth-quarter sales of $697.8 million, up 21.6% from $573.8 million in the same quarter last year.
For the full year ended Dec. 31, net sales increased to $2.767 billion, up 21.9%.
"During 2010 and 2011, sales were strong — our business has closely followed the trend line since the fall of 2009," the company stated, adding that February was negatively impacted by weather in each of the past two years.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter were $87.4 million, up 34.2%. For the full year, net earnings were $357.9 million, up 34.9%.
On Dec. 31, the company had 2,585 stores. It opened 122 new stores, an increase of 4.9%, in 2011. In the prior year, Fastenal opened 127 new stores. And the company’s head count increased 14.2% in 2011 to 15,168 employees.
"In 2012, we expect to open approximately 4.0% to 6.0% new stores," the company stated. "We believe this is a rational reaction to the current PMI, and due to the good results we are experiencing with our national accounts and dedicated sales specialists, particularly related to our automated solutions (industrial vending) rollout."
Fastenal continues its progress rolling out industrial vending programs. The number of cumulative machines installed in workplaces increased to 7,453 in the fourth quarter, up from 5,642 in the third quarter. The programs represent 15.7% of Fastenal’s total net sales, up from 13.1% in the previous quarter.
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Lowe’s to hire 40,000 seasonal workers
Lowe’s will be beefing up its employee ranks for the spring season, hiring a total of 40,000 workers to staff stores around the country, a company spokesman told the Dayton Daily News.
While the number of seasonal hires varies by store, the average is 23 people, according to spokesman Steve Salazar. Applicants can apply online at careers. Lowes.com. Available positions include loaders, cashiers, garden-center workers, stockers and other support personnel.
Home Depot made a similar announcement, on Jan. 12, saying it would hire 70,000 seasonal workers this spring.
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Northern California nursery expands
Green Acres Nursery & Supply, a Sacramento, Calif.-area garden center, will open a third location in Folsom on Feb. 29, according to an article in the Sacramento Bee.
Owner Mark Gill is remodeling a former 30,000-sq.-ft. Circuit City, enlarging its doors so potted trees can fit through and building a large arbor to shade outdoor shrubs and bedding plants. The retail nursery will also feature a 13,500-sq.-ft. greenhouse. It will be one of the largest independent garden centers in the Central Valley, with 68,500 sq. ft. of covered sales space on its 5.7-acre site. The new checkout line has 14 cashiers.
Green Acres Nursery & Supply also operates locations in Roseville and Sacramento.
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