For True Value CEO, growth looms large
Chicago-based True Value CEO Lyle Heidemann had some good news for dealers gathered in Orlando, Fla., during the general session of the co-op’s 2012 spring market. Sales were up, he said. So are expectations.
For the year ended Dec. 31, True Value revenue increased 3.4% to $1.86 billion, as the co-op is riding a wave of consecutive quarterly sales increases that now extends to five. Full-year earnings for the co-op were $60.3 million, down 0.7% from $60.7 million in 2010.
"Our goal is to generate $60 million of new business growth each year — that’s right, $60 million of new business growth." That’s about how much the co-op gained in 2011. So how do you keep it up? Heidemann pointed to farm & ranch products; new bill-through vendors such as Benjamin Moore; international business, expansions and relocations, "and of course," he said, "new True Value stores."
Regarding this last point, Heidemann unveiled a new option he described as "an offer you can’t refuse.” It includes a 10-year equity loan and 100% free opening stock order based on the co-op’s Destination True Value planogram assortments and recommended inventory levels.
Heidemann said the new option can reduce the investment in a new store by almost 60%.
Following the event, Heidemann told Home Channel News the proposal will change attitudes about retail expansion.
"The obvious targets are the retailers who are already running a hardware store, but this should also change the interest level for some of the people who want to open their first store," he said. "We had a lot of interest. It was a surprise announcement. We’re trying to take the cost out of opening a hardware store. It’s very capital intensive between the inventory, fixturing, computer and finishing up the store — for a 10,000-sq.-ft. store its about $850,000 to open."
For the quarter, True Value revenue was $441.9 million, up 5.8%. Quarterly earnings were $12.4 million, up 39.3% from $8.9 million in the prior-year quarter.
True Value Co. names ‘best in town’ list
From coast-to-coast to yet another coast, Chicago-based True Value Company recognized 14 True Value hardware stores as winners of its annual "Best Hardware Store in Town" award.
This year’s list included a Bermuda retailer, marking the first time a member outside of the United States was honored by the award.
“Our vision is to help every True Value be the ‘best hardware store in town,’ and these 14 stores represent what it takes to exceed customer expectations,” said Lyle Heidemann, president and chief executive officer of True Value Co.
This year’s list is as follows:
B&C True Value Home Center, Grass Valley, Calif.;
Berger True Value Hardware, Hawthorne, N.Y.;
Brinkmann Hardware, Blue Point, N.Y.;
Central True Value, Moncks Corner, S.C.;
Geiger True Value, Chillicothe, Ill.;
Gorham’s True Value, Hamilton, Bermuda;
Horton’s True Value, Chetek, Wis.;
Hoy’s True Value, Sweet home, Ore.;
Lake Isabella True Value, Lake Isabella, Calif.;
Lott True Value, Childress, Texas;
Red Lodge True Value, Red Lodge, Mont.;
Shore True Value, Somers Point, N.J.;
Strasser True Value, Kansas City, Kan.; and
Titusville True Value, Titusville, Pa.
According to the co-op, the stores went through a nomination and selection process, which included mystery shoppers visiting each selected store to gain a customer’s perspective. Store evaluation criteria included physical appearance, product selection, competitive pricing, promotional sales and customer assistance.
At rental event, True Value honors top suppliers
At The Rental Show in New Orleans, the Chicago-based hardware co- op True Value Co. recognized its partners that make rental successful.
Toro Company, Hilti and Warner Shelter Systems received special recognition.
"Every supplier — small and large — is critical t our success," said Eric Lane, True Value’s VP specialty business, which includes rental. "And it is important to recognize these three companies for demonstrating outstanding contributions, dedication to quality and positive financial impact on our rental business." (Register or sign in to read our most recent Q&A with Eric Lane.)
Toro was named lawn-and-garden supplier of the year. Hilti took home top honors in the tool and equipment category. And Warner Shelter Systems was party and event supplier of the year.