First-quarter 2019 was a period of growth for Ace Hardware Corp.
The Oak Brook, Illinois, co-op on May 22 reported first-quarter 2019 revenues of $1.4 billion, an increase of 5.1 percent from the first quarter in 2018.
Net income was $22.6 million for first-quarter 2019, an increase of nearly 90 percent from the prior year.
“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,” says John Venhuizen, the co-op’s president and CEO. “My sincere thanks and appreciation to our local owners and the entire Ace team for their hard and effective work.”
A 3.9 percent increase in retail same-store sales during the first quarter of 2019 was the result of a 3 percent increase in average ticket and a 0.9 percent increase in same-store transactions, according to the company.
The co-op’s wholesale division saw revenue of $1.3 billion for the quarter, an increase of 4 percent above the same period in 2018. Increases were noted across most departments, with winter goods, grilling and power tools showing the largest gains, according to Ace.
Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings LLC, the division of the co-op that operates the Westlake Ace Hardware chain, were $73.3 million in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 28.6 percent from the first quarter of 2018.
This increase was the result of Westlake Ace Hardware adding new stores and Ace becoming the sole owner of the 50-store Great Lakes Ace Hardware chain. Prior to the March 2019 purchase, the co-op owned a 42 percent stake in Great Lakes Ace, according to Ace’s quarterly report.
Ace Hardware’s total domestic store count was 4,497 at the end of the first quarter of 2019, which was an increase of 79 stores from the first quarter of 2018. The co-op has 5,278 stores worldwide.