Ace Hardware Corporation reported record sales in its first quarter, as the company continued to drive both store and e-commerce growth.
The hardware cooperative reported a 2.2% increase in retail same-store sales during the first quarter of 2018, reported by the approximately 3,000 Ace retailers who share daily retail sales data. The increase was the result of a 3.3% increase in average ticket, partially offset by 1.1% decrease in same-store transactions.
Consolidated revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, totaled $1.31 billion, an increase of 6% from the previous first quarter. Total wholesale revenues were $1.25 billion, an increase of 5.3%, as compared to the prior year first quarter. Increases were noted across all departments with paint, electric and outdoor living showing the largest gains.
Total retail revenues for the quarter were $63.1 million, an increase of 21.3%, as compared to the prior year first quarter. Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings were $57 million in the first quarter of 2018. Retail revenues from Ace Ecommerce Holdings, which was formed in the third quarter of 2017 for the acquisition of The Grommet, were $6.1 million in the first quarter of 2018.
Net income was $11.9 million for the first quarter of 2018, a decrease of $16.4 million from the first quarter of 2017, as the retailer boosted its strategic investments.
“A 34% increase in sales from Acehardware.com coupled with new store growth from existing Ace retailers and renewed interest from competitor conversions fueled our record sales growth,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO, Ace Hardware. “While first quarter profits are well below last year’s levels, most of this was expected. We invested heavily in the first quarter to get our new 1.1 million square foot Fredericksburg retail support center ready to open in June as well as to prepare for the insourcing and re-platforming of our new Acehardware.com website.”