Ace Hardware reports big numbers

Sales, net income and store count are all up in the co-op’s first quarter.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. reported record first-quarter revenues of $1.38 billion, up 5.1% from the same quarter last year.

The co-op highlighted big increases in its first quarter net income – up 89.9% to $22.6 million – and sales at Acehardware.com – up 55%.

U.S. same-store sales for the quarter were up 3.9%. That figure is based on the 3,200 or so Ace retailers who share retail sales data with the co-op. These stores showed a 3.0% increase in average ticket, and a 0.9% increase in same-store transactions.

Read the full press release here.

During the first quarter, Ace added 41 stores in the United States and cancelled 20 stores, bringing the number of domestic stores to 4,497. Total store count around the world is 5,278.

The co-op’s retail holdings were bolstered with the addition of ACO Inc., doing business as Great Lakes Ace Hardware in Ohio and Michigan. Ace had previously owned 42% of the business, and in the first quarter Ace acquired the remaining 58% of the outstanding stock. The move requires Ace to include ACO’s operating results in Ace’s income statement.

Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings – essentially 50-store ACO and 124-store Westlake Ace Hardware — were $73.3 million in the first quarter, up 28.6%.

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Bottom line: Ace Q1 net income grew 89.9% to $22.6 million.

What the CEO said: “Significant growth from new stores, including 47 in the first quarter, solid same-store-sales growth and a 55 percent surge in revenue from acehardware.com fueled our 5.1 percent revenue increase and 89.9 percent net income growth,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO. “My sincere thanks and appreciation to our local owners and the entire Ace team for their hard and effective work.”

Additional company news: Ace acquired the remaining 58% of Great Lakes Ace Hardware, operator of 50 retail stores in Michigan and Ohio. Also, Ace Hardware rolled out a buy-online, deliver-from-store initiative in April.


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