DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

True Value CFO looks back at Q1

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Chicago-based True Value Co. senior VP and CFO David Shadduck liked what he saw during the first quarter, and didn’t hesitate to describe the cold and snowy winter as a net gain for the co-op’s 4,500 retailers.

The co-op reported gross billings of $460.1 million for the quarter, up 3.6% from $444.2 million for the same period a year ago. Revenue was $331.5 million, an increase of 6.0%.

In an interview with HCN, the number about which Shadduck seemed most enthusiastic was the 7.3% gain in retail comp-store sales.

"Our retailers are excited with all the additional volume they got to sell at retail, up 7.3%, and a contributor of that was the longer winter season, which helped them at retail, helped them from a profit standpoint and helped their cash flow," he said.

The company reported higher gross margins on weather-related products, which were sold at regular prices for a longer period of time than usual, he said. Referring to shovels, ice melt and the like, he said, "they were not discounted because they were in high demand."

True Value reports gross billings and revenue. The first is the combined sales of products through its distribution system plus the direct-ship sales from vendors to members. The second measures the sales of merchandise from True Value warehouses, plus the nominal markup.

"We’re thrilled with how the year has started," Shadduck said.

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True Value posts first-quarter gains

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pointing to success of an expanded farm, ranch, auto and pet assortments, Chicago-based True Value posted gains in gross billings and revenues for the first quarter ended March 29.

The co-op reported gross billings of $460.1 million for the quarter, up 3.6% from $444.2 million for the same period a year ago. Revenue was $331.5 million, an increase of 6.0%.

The cooperative posted a quarterly net margin of $0.9 million, up slightly from $0.4 million a year ago.

A pet display at the recent True Value Reunion in Atlanta

"We had a great first quarter from a sales perspective, driven by the ongoing rollout of our expanded farm, ranch, auto and pet assortments and strong demand in winter weather-related product classes that carry higher gross margin rates,” said president and CEO John Hartmann. "We continue to add new stores and assist our retailers in investing in their stores by remodeling to the Destination True Value format. We also installed new paint colorant systems in about 1,000 stores." 

Retail comp-store sales were up 7.3% in the quarter with increases in each region of the country and in each of our nine product categories, the company said. Co-op revenue was up 6.0% and up in all but one region of the country and in seven of nine product categories. The increase was led by the farm, ranch, auto and pet, seasonal, plumbing and paint categories.

Gross billings from new stores exceeded lost revenue from terminated stores by $6.9 million. Wholesale comparative-store sales, on a gross billings basis, were up 2.0% in the quarter.

The net margin increase for the quarter was primarily driven by two factors: higher sales volume out of the regional distribution network and a higher average gross margin rate. The latter resulted from a shift in the mix toward more regular replenishment orders versus promotional or discounted product orders.

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Do it Best names business development leader

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best Corp. has named Gary Hoffmann to lead a seasoned business development team in the newly created role of national multi-location sales and business development manager, effective immediately.

Hoffmann, an 11-year veteran of Do it Best Corp., will guide a team of business development managers as they partner with growth-oriented co-op members operating multiple locations, often throughout several states. Hoffmann and his team will help this sector of members continue their expansion plans through same-store sales growth as well as the opening of new locations and the acquisition of existing ones.

“Gary’s experience makes him a perfect fit for this new role,” said Jay Brown, VP sales and business development for Do it Best Corp. “By helping our multi-location members leverage proven co-op programs like Retail Performance, Gary and his team are perfectly positioned to strengthen our relationship with our multi-location members as they continue to grow their businesses.”

“I’m blessed to serve on a team that is rich in experience and industry knowledge,” Hoffmann added. “By sharing best practices, pursuing new opportunities, leveraging our world-class programs and resources, and working strategically, I’m excited to bring even more value to our multi-location members.”

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