House-Hasson announces warehouse expansion
‘We’ve run out of room in Prichard,’ says President Don Hasson.
Regional distributor House-Hasson Hardware is launching a major expansion of one of its two product warehouses.
Construction is taking place on a 50,000 square-foot addition to House-Hasson’s Prichard, W.Va., warehouse, which will take it to 300,000 square-feet of product storage space. When the project is completed, House-Hasson will have nearly 800,000 square-feet of combined warehouse space in Prichard and at the corporate headquarters warehouse in Knoxville, Tenn. The company expects the project will take six months to complete.
“Business is good; we’ve run out of room in Prichard,” said Don Hasson, president of House-Hasson Hardware. “Our dealers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia are doing very well and we’re adding new dealers all the time.”
He said West Virginia’s economy is improving after being hit hard with the coal industry downturn.
“Hardware sales are an excellent barometer of economic conditions,” Hasson said. “When people and businesses are feeling optimistic and doing better economically local hardware stores are one of the first places to see the improvements.”
Ten new employees will be added to Prichard’s 106-member staff.
“We anticipate the expanded warehouse will meet the increased demand now and in the foreseeable future, but if we find that we need to grow again, that’s a good problem to have,” Hasson said.
House-Hasson acquired the warehouse in 2010, and spent $2 million on a 100,000 square-foot addition completed in 2011.
House-Hasson Hardware, a 111-year-old family-owned company serves 2,500 dealers in 22 states and the Caribbean Basin.
Highlights from True Value’s 2017 Financials
True Value Company posted its 2017 Financial Report, showing a slight sales decline during the company’s last full year as a co-op. The co-op’s net margin increased to $24.8 million, compared to $23.7 million in 2016.
In April, True Value finalized the sale of 70% the company to ACON investments. The move ushers in a new era for True Value, which ends its run as a member-owned co-op becoming instead a nationally branded wholesale distributor.
Here are some of the financial highlights from the company’s last year as a co-op. [See full report here.]
Revenue: In 2017, revenue decreased 1.7% to $1.49 billion, compared to $1.51 billion in 2016.
Gross billings: Compared to the prior year, gross billings declined 0.9% to $2.055 billion in 2017. That slight decline followed six years of consecutive growth. Gross billings include warehouse revenue, vendor direct revenue and other fees before the reduction for vendor direct costs of revenue. The $2.05 billion figure marks “the company’s second highest level of sales in the past decade.”
Comparable store sales: With more than 1,700 stores reporting, retail comps grew 0.8% in 2017. Retail sales showed gains in eight of the company’s 12 U.S. regions. Gains were also recorded in six out of nine merchandise categories. Leading the way: hand and power tools.
Net margin: In 2017, net margin was $24.8 million, up from $23.7 million in the previous year. These figures include strategic plan investment expenses of $24.8 million in 2017, and $18.8 million in 2016.
Store count: The co-op finished the year with 4,311 stores, down from 4,392 stores at the end of 2016. During 2017, the company signed 59 new core hardware stores. An additional 27 U.S. retailers converted to True Value from other buying groups.
Sales to new stores increased by $29.6 million. However, lost revenue from terminated stores was $47.5 million.
In its financial report, True Value added: “Due to competitors capitalizing on sale rumors, the Company experienced a lower level of conversions from other buying groups to True Value in the second half of 2017.”
Patronage dividend: The co-op’s $23.6 million patronage dividend increased by about $500,000 over the dividend from 2016.
E-commerce: Sales were up 21%.
Poll question: The impact of the co-op model
Independent hardware and building supply dealers come in all kinds of sizes and all kinds of business models. And in the last half century or so, the co-op business model has played a major role in the industry.
This week’s poll question examines the extent of the impact of the co-op on the independent dealer. HBSDealer asks: “How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?”
Take the survey on the right side of this page (or scroll down on your mobile advice.) HBSDealer also encourages your opinions via e-mail, send them to [email protected].