Ace Hardware Corp. reported first-quarter growth in sales and profit that partially reflect changing consumer needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The co-op’s revenue was $1.4 billion during the first quarter, an increase of 3.8 percent above the first quarter of 2019. Net income was $36.2 million, a year-over-year increase of about 60 percent.
“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,” CEO and president John Venhuizen says. “Business has changed dramatically in this period, as has life for a meaningful portion of the world.”
Same-store sales increased by 4.2 percent during the quarter due to a 5.1 percent increase in average ticket, according to the co-op. Wholesale revenues were $1.3 billion, an increase of 1.5 percent from 2019’s first quarter.
In April, same-store sales grew 26 percent. Online sales grew 580 percent due to curbside pickup, in-store pickup and delivery from local stores, Venhuizen says.
“We feel both the blessing and the burden of being declared an essential retailer,” Venhuizen says. “The protection of our people and our neighbors remains our highest priority.”
Ace Hardware Corp. is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world and is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois. It serves more than 5,300 locally owned hardware stores throughout the world. In April, the company announced plans to hire 30,000 associates.