In first quarter, Ace posts fourth straight sales gain
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. reported total revenues of $845.0 million in the first quarter, up 2.8% from the same quarter a year ago.
Merchandise sales to comparable domestic stores increased 2.2% in the first quarter.
Net income for the hardware cooperative declined to $6.8 million, down from $11.8 million in the same quarter last year.
"Our first-quarter sales reflect our fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year positive growth in merchandise sales," said Ray Griffith, Ace president and CEO. "While there is still uncertainty in the overall economic environment, we will continue to provide our retailers with the products and services they need to drive further growth as the economy stabilizes."
Ace added 38 new stores and canceled 41 stores in the first quarter, ending the period with 4,444 stores.
Ace had sales of $3.5 billion in 2010, making it the largest of the "big three" co-ops, ahead of Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best with $2.4 billion in sales, and Chicago-based True Value, with $1.8 billion in sales.
In the Rockies, Ace stores unveil a website
Ace Hardware storeowners across four Rocky Mountain states unveiled an interactive new website, myhelpfulace.com.
The new site features several ways for consumers to more easily interact with their local Ace Hardware store in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.
The site includes a new and improved Ace Hardware store locator to help consumers find their local Ace Hardware store in just two clicks. The site is fully integrated with the group’s social media tools, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. With the launch of the new site, consumers can also subscribe to multiple RSS feeds.
"Our stores are all designed and laid out to help consumers get in, get out and get on with their lives and we wanted to replicate that fast, easy, helpful experience on our web site," said Bill Moore, chairman of the board of directors for the Rocky Mountain Ace Stores dealer group and owner of two Colorado stores. "This new site will provide a wealth of information about products, tips and news on home improvement projects from painting to plumbing to planting, and we’re excited to provide the helpful advice we’re known for online."
Visitors to the new site can expect to find information about products, promotions, recent news stories, videos and more pertaining to all categories of home improvement, including paint, lawn and garden, hardware, electrical, plumbing, home décor, automotive and more. The site will also include direct links to the web sites of individual Ace Hardware stores throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico for even more localized tips and advice.
Master Lock partners with Dirty Jobs host
Master Lock has a new spokesman: Mike Rowe, creator and host of Discovery Channel’s popular program, “Dirty Jobs.”
The Oak Creek, Wis. manufacturer is launching a new line of security products designed to protect tools and equipment in the cargo area of pickup trucks and vans, especially those used by contractors and other professionals. Rowe will act as the spokesman for this new product line.
Rowe has performed more than 300 of the dirtiest jobs throughout the country during the first five seasons of his show, “Dirty Jobs.” He is also the founder of mikeroweWORKS, a foundation that supports technical education scholarships and assistance to schools and institutes providing a technical curriculum. To launch the partnership, Master Lock also announced that it is making a substantial donation to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.