Schaefer lauded as top female CEO
Gina Schaefer, CEO of nine-store, D.C.-area Ace chain A Few Cool Hardware Stores, was recognized recently as a top female CEO during the SmartCEO Brava! Awards.
Schaefer was among 32 women (of 200 applicants) recognized by Washington SmartCEO Media during the July 30 ceremony.
Schaefer has been at the helm of the Ace chain since opening her first hardware store in 2003. Today, she sits on the Ace Hardware Corporate Board and is the board president for Think Local First D.C., a board vice chair for House of Ruth and a member of the Advisory Board for Jubilee Jobs.
The Brava! Awards celebrate the top women in business throughout the Washington metro area and are profiled in SmartCEO magazine.
This year’s winners generate moe than $254.6 million in annual revenue and collectively oversee over 1,111 employees.
HDW targets Florida panhandle
Hardware Distribution Warehouses, Inc. CEO and President Kenneth R. Beauvais said HDW will be expanding its wholesale services into the Florida panhandle beginning Sept. 1.
“In addition to our recent expansion into Northwest Texas, we have made the decision to extend our service area into the Florida panhandle,” Beauvais said. “This expansion will result in additional opportunities for our employee owned company.”
The announcement was made at the company’s 2014 Fall Market, which ended Aug. 10 in Shreveport, Louisiana.
HDW dealers, vendors and associates filled the Shreveport Convention Center for the three-day event. Beauvais stated that “preliminary sales results from the recent market show an increase of over 15% from the previous market."
“We continue to see growth opportunities as our dealers are reporting increases in their business throughout our mid-south region to date,” commented Beauvais.
Retailers in attendance took advantage of special purchases, educational seminars, new product information, advertising programs and over 300 vendors in attendance. Over $50,000 was awarded in prize money during the event.
HDW also announced it will be holding its upcoming Spring Market in Jackson, Mississippi. The event will be held January 23-25 at the Jackson Convention Complex.
HDW is a member of Distribution America.
Paint leads way to Ace Q2 sales
With heavy investment in its Paint Studio and a corresponding media blitz to promote it, wholesale sales at Ace Hardware Corp. jumped double digits in the second quarter, the co-op reported Wednesday morning.
Ace reported wholesale revenues were $1.25 billion, an increase of 14.1% as compared to the prior-year quarter. The co-op said increases were noted in virtually every department, with the paint, electrical, and lawn and garden categories showing the largest increases. The company has remodeled and re-equipped over 3,300 stores as part of the new Paint Studio initiative, which contributed meaningfully to second-quarter wholesale revenues and record retail sales in May.
Based on POS data from the 3,100 Ace retailers who transmit it to headquarters, same-store sales were positive 3.6%. For the first half of 2014, same-store-sales at these stores were up 4.2 percent.
Record revenues, which include sales of corporate-owned stores, increased 13.4% to $1.33 billion. Net income of $66.5 million increased 57.2% from last year.
“Companies our size and age do not grow double digits by accident,” said John Venhuizen, Ace president and CEO. “It’s only through a thousand points of disciplined execution from great people that results like this occur.”
Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings (“ARH”) were $79.7 million in the second quarter of 2014. This is an increase of 2.6% from the second quarter of 2013, which resulted from increases across nearly all departments, with lawn and garden and tools showing the largest increases. During the second quarter of 2014, same-store sales at ARH were up 3.5% versus the prior year and are up 5.7% for the first half of 2014.
Ace added 43 new stores and cancelled 44 stores in the second quarter of 2014 for a net decrease in store count of 1. This brought the company’s total global store count to 4,877 at the end of the second quarter of 2014, an increase of 136 stores from the second quarter of 2013.
“It’s a privilege to work with such a dedicated and effective team,” continued Venhuizen. “For 90 years now, we’ve taken a stand for the small, mostly family-run businesses who duke it out every day with many of the biggest, most well-funded companies on Earth. Our exceptional small business owners have once again generated record financial results by consistently delivering award-winning service to their neighbors.”
The company said its debt increased by $91.4 million compared to the second quarter of 2013, the result of factors including the addition of Valspar-branded inventories to all of its Retail Support Centers, and the acquisition of Emery-Waterhouse in the first quarter of 2014.
Investments made by the company since the second quarter of 2013 have also led to an increase in equity of $60.6 million, Ace said.