True Value posts first-quarter gains
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.
Do it Best names business development leader
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.”
Ace chalks up energy savings to its supply chain
Ace Hardware is celebrating the milestones it has reached within its supply chain in the aim of reducing its carbon footprint this Earth Day.
Specifically, two Ace Hardware Retail Support facilities are being recognized for their participation in zero landfill initiatives, which see to it that a product is reused instead of being sent to a landfill or incinerator. The Ace Hardware Import Redestribution Center in Suffolk, Va. has been enjoying zero landfill status for over a year, and the counterpart facility in Kent, Wash. is 95% of the way there.
“At Ace, our goal is to be environmental stewards, especially in the communities in which our facilities are located,” said Tim Duvall, supply chain director, Ace Hardware Corporation. “We are proud to say that the efforts that our teams execute locally have a far greater global benefit. In 2013 alone, across our entire Retail Support Network, Ace recycled more than 38,000,000 lbs. or 19,000 tons of pallets, plastic and corrugate.”
Additionally, many Ace Retail Support Centers have switched to LED lighting, which has added up to thousands of dollars of cost savings and millions of kilowatts in energy reductions. Some of the newer Retail Support Centers will use energy-efficient, motion detection lighting and power equipment that will run on hydrogen fuel cell technology.
In terms of transport, its vehicle fleet has been certified as part of the EPA’s SmartWay program. Ace also only contracts with approved SmartWay carriers for its freight operations.