At Ace Hardware, a record quarter

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At Ace Hardware, a record quarter

By HBSDealer Staff - 05/20/2020
Feeling both the “blessing and the burden” of business as an essential retailer, Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. posted record first quarter revenue -- $1.43 billion, up 3.8% from the same quarter a year ago.

The co-op also achieved record first quarter net income of $36.2 million, an increase of 60.2% from last year.

Click to enlarge.

During the first quarter ended March 28 comp-store sales increased 4.2% at the 3,200 Ace retailers who share daily retail sales data. And as hardware stores remained open and spring beckoned stay-at-home home owners to launch improvement projects, retailers saw a 5.1% increase in average ticket, offset by 0.9% decrease in same-store transactions.

Acehardware.com revenues were up 63% in the quarter.

The sales momentum continued into April, the co-op said, with 26% comp-store sales growth in the U.S., and a whopping 580% increase in online business – primarily through curbside pickup, in-store pickup and delivery from stores.

Ace added 22 new domestic stores in the first quarter of 2020 and cancelled 12 stores. The company’s total domestic store count was 4,566 at the end of the first quarter of 2020. That is an increase of 69 stores from the first quarter of 2019.

Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings were $108.1 million in the first quarter of 2020, up 47.5% from the first quarter of 2019. This increase was primarily the result of 11 new California stores – former Orchard Supply Hardware stores -- added by the company-owned Westlake Ace Hardware chain since the first quarter of 2019 coupled with a 2.3% increase in Westlake same-store-sales.

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Bottom line: record Q1 net income of $36.2 million on record Q1 revenues of $1.43 billion.

What the CEO said: “While our first quarter generated record sales and profit, we humbly acknowledge that this global pandemic has ripped open much of the world like a nasty earthquake in the six weeks since our quarter ended. Business has changed dramatically in this period, as has life for a meaningful portion of the world,” said John Venhuizen, President & CEO. “We feel both the blessing and the burden of being declared an essential retailer. The protection of our people and our neighbors remains our highest priority.

Read more: Click here for the company’s first quarter earnings release. And click here for highlights from the co-op’s 2019 annual report.