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Obituary: Allen Winn, 58

BY HBSDealer Staff

Gerald Allen Winn, House-Hasson Hardware’s VP merchandising, who was with House-Hasson for 32 years, died Sunday, June 5, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

He was 58.

Winn was known throughout the hardware industry for his personality and ability, said Don Hasson, House-Hasson president.

“This is a tremendous loss both for his family and for his House-Hasson family,” Hasson said. “Allen leaves a great legacy, and we’re privileged to have known him and to have worked with him.”

 

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Tractor Supply lets card deal ride

BY HBSDealer Staff

Brentwood, Tennessee-based Tractor Supply Company, America’s farm-and-ranch supply giant, and Citi Retail Services, one of the country's largest private-label credit card issuers, announced a multi-year extension of their credit card relationship.

The business partnership dates back to 2000.

"We appreciate Citi's strong support for our growth initiatives and believe that this partnership will allow Tractor Supply to better serve our customers through improved customer insights and by providing affordable financing programs,” said Jay Victory, VP finance for Tractor Supply.

Tractor Supply, the leading rural lifestyle retail store chain, operates more than 1,400 retail stores in 49 states and annual revenues of approximately $5.7 billion.

Citi's extension with Tractor Supply follows recently announced new relationships with Brooks Brothers, Volkswagen USA and CNH Industrial, as well as five additional contract renewals in the last eight months.

Citi Retail Services provides consumer and commercial credit card products, both private label and co-branded, to retailers and their clients across North America.

The business serves nearly 90 million accounts for a number of major brands, including Best Buy, ExxonMobil, Macy's, Sears, Shell and The Home Depot.

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Sales slip for WD-40 in Q3

BY HBSDealer Staff

WD-40 Company reported a decrease of 3% in its third-quarter sales, citing some trouble abroad and foreign currency issues.

Net sales for the quarter ended May 31 were $92.5 million, down 3% year-over-year. Without the impact of foreign currency rates, net sales would have been $96.5 million.

As for net income, $11.0 million represented an increase of 5% year-over-year.

"Foreign currency exchange headwinds and political and economic instability in Eastern Europe continue to adversely impact and distort the true strength of our business," said Garry Ridge, WD-40 Company's president and CEO. "Our net sales results in the third quarter were negatively impacted by foreign currency issues, particularly in our EMEA segment, as well as significantly reduced sales in our distributor markets in Ukraine and Russia. We experienced strong sales growth in the Americas segment during the third quarter due to increased distribution and promotional activities. Our Asia-Pacific segment is on track for a great year despite an isolated product quality issue linked to a defective aerosol can component contained in our WD-40 Multi-Use Product sold within our Asian distributor markets. This product quality issue caused sales levels to be lower during the third quarter."

Homecare and cleaning products led the charge at an increase of 1% in sales, though a 4% decrease in multi-purpose maintenance products dragged down the overall performance.

"Although foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations across Europe as well as the political and economic instability in Eastern Europe negatively impacted our reported sales in EMEA, nearly all of our EMEA direct markets are seeing organic sales growth in their local currencies," added Ridge. "While we expect we will continue to see fluctuations in the performance of certain markets quarter to quarter, our long-term growth plans remain unchanged."  

The company also updated its fiscal guidance for 2015, with net sales growth projected to be flat to 2%, or between $383 million and $390 million. Net income is projected to fall between $44.5 million and $45.4 million, with gross margin above 52%.

"We've adjusted our full-year guidance, and it reflects the continued impact of foreign currency exchange movements as well as the macroeconomic and political challenges in Eastern Europe," said Jay Rembolt, WD-40 Company's VP and CFO.  "Although some level of foreign currency exchange volatility had been built into our previous guidance, it is difficult to project for how long and to what depth our fiscal year results will be impacted."

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