Tractor Supply to move into former Yardbirds site
A long vacant home-improvement store in Petaluma, Calif., will soon erect a Tractor Supply sign, according to an article in The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
The former Yardbirds, operated by Home Depot after it purchased the Northern California chain of hardware stores, closed in 2009. Several retailers have expressed interest in it, according to news reports, including Lowe’s, who pulled out of the running last month.
Tractor Supply, a farm, ranch and home improvement store based in Brentwood, Tenn., already operates another store in Sonoma County, according to the article. Altogether, the retailer owns more than 1,054 stores in 44 states.
Projected opening for the 40,000-sq.-ft. Petaluma store is Jan. 28.
At Lowe’s investor’s conference, the focus is growth
At its annual conference in Mooresville, N.C., held Tuesday, Lowe’s executives are prepared to talk growth and the transformation from retailer to a "home improvement company."
“We are in the process of transforming Lowe’s from a home improvement retailer to a home improvement company — a company committed to delivering better customer experiences across the entire home improvement spectrum, by pulling together the best combination of possibilities, support and value for customers wherever and whenever they choose to engage," said CEO Robert Niblock in a prepared statement. "By enhancing our customer experience, we will drive long-term sales growth, increase profitability and enhance shareholder value."
During the investor conference, senior Lowe’s executives will focus on the strategic investments and critical decisions made in 2011, according to the company.
Lowe’s also revealed its fiscal year 2011 guidance, which includes:
• Total sales expected to increase 2% to 3%, including the 53rd week of the year;
• Comparable-store sales decline about 1%; and
• Store openings totaling about 25 stores in 2011.
Toro Co. posts record results in 2011
Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro Co. posted record sales in 2011, including a 5.8% sales gain in the company’s residential segment.
“Fiscal 2011 was a very good year for the Toro Co., delivering record revenues and earnings per share,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO.
For the year, the company’s total earnings were up 26.3% to $117.7 million, and net sales were up 11.5% to $1.884 billion. In the fourth quarter, net earnings increased from $3.2 million to $5 million, as net sales increased 9.1% to $337.3 million.
Residential segment net sales for fiscal 2011 totaled $623.9 million, up 5.8 % over last year. For the year, sales of riding products increased on demand for Toro’s new line of zero-turn mowers, the company said.
Shipments of snow products were up significantly in North America and Europe coming off last year’s strong snow season that boosted preseason orders, along with benefits from additional product placement.
Somewhat offsetting these gains were lower orders of walk power mowers and electric blowers due to unfavorable weather conditions. For the fourth quarter, residential segment net sales were $143.5 million, up 12.9% from the comparable fiscal 2010 period.
Residential segment earnings for fiscal 2011 totaled $54.4 million, down from $58 million last year. For the fourth quarter, residential segment earnings were $11.9 million, up from $8.8 million in the comparable fiscal 2010 period.
"We are well-positioned to grow share in our markets with a strong lineup of innovative new products, along with the benefit of additional capacity from the investment in our new Romania operation," Hoffman said.