Ace Hardware takes 'artisanal' to new heights

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Ace Hardware takes 'artisanal' to new heights

By Gina Acosta - 02/14/2018
Ace Hardware acquired a majority stake in The Grommet last year in order to leverage the retailer's e-commerce knowhow and fulfillment capabilities.

Ace Hardware's already successful business model is getting a lift from a key e-commerce acquisition.

Ace Hardware's formula of offering “local, relevant, high-quality products and service” is continuing to resonate with shoppers.

The company just reported record fourth quarter revenues of $1.3 billion, an increase of 6.8 percent from last year. And U.S. same-store-sales were up 3.1%. The company credit much of that compo growth to its acquisition of the Grommet, a Massachusetts based online platform for entrepreneurs to sell their products.

“New store growth, a 3.1 percent increase in same-store retail sales, along with revenues from our acquisition of The Grommet at the end of the last quarter, were the predominant drivers behind our strong 6.8 percent overall sales increase and record setting fourth quarter revenue,” said John Venhuizen, President and CEO. “I’m also encouraged to report that 2017 marked the fifth-straight year of increased customer transactions at retail, the sixth-straight year of net new store count growth, the eighth-straight year of increased same-store-sales, and the eleventh-straight year receiving the J.D. Power award for highest customer satisfaction. None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of the Ace owners, their employees, and the employees of Ace Hardware Corporation. My sincere thank you to all of them.”

Ace Hardware acquired a majority stake in The Grommet last year in order to leverage the retailer's e-commerce knowhow and fulfillment capabilities. Ace has been leveraging The Grommet's artisanal focus to give Ace's brick-and-mortar stores something unique. 

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, Ace reported fourth quarter 2017 revenues of $1.32 billion, an increase of $84.0 million, or 6.8 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2016. Net income was $14.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, a decrease of $7.3 million from the fourth quarter of 2016.

Retail gross profit for the fourth quarter was $36.7 million, an increase of $7.8 million from the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company reported record full year revenues of $5.4 billion, an increase of 5.1 percent from last year. And U.S. same-store-sales were up 3.6 percent for the year.

Ace added 152 new domestic stores in fiscal 2017. This brought the company’s total domestic store count to 4,418 at the end of fiscal 2017, an increase of 55 stores from the end of fiscal 2016. On a worldwide basis, Ace added 236 stores in fiscal 2017, bringing the worldwide store count to 5,121 at the end of fiscal 2017.