Surging Demand Drives Ace Q4, Fiscal Year

Ace Hardware Corp. advanced on the retail and wholesale front, completing a strong fiscal 2020 when stores under the banner in the United States stayed open in the COVID-19 pandemic as essential retail operations.

For the fiscal year, Ace posted net income of $317.6 million versus $140.4 million in the year before.

A 14.7% increase in average ticket and a 9.8% increase in comparable transactions versus the prior year drove Ace’s 25.9% gain in comparable sales for the full year from the approximately 3,300 Ace retailers that share daily retail sales data with the parent company.

Full-year revenues were $7.76 billion with retail revenues of $751.5 million and wholesale revenues of $7.01 billion versus total revenues of $6.07 billion with retail revenues of $506.7 million and wholesale revenues of $5.56 billion in the fiscal year previous. Operating income was $333.1 million versus $133.8 million in the year earlier.

For the fourth quarter, Ace posted net income of $43.3 million versus $3.9 million in the period a year before.

A 28.7% increase in comparable sales during the fourth quarter reported by the same 3,300 Ace retailers accompanied a 16.4% increase in average ticket and a 10.5% increase in same-store transactions.

Fourth-quarter revenues were $2.05 billion with retail revenues of $203.6 million and wholesale revenues of $1.85 billion versus total revenues of $1.48 billion with retail revenues of $142.2 million and wholesale revenues of $1.33 billion. Operating income was $47.9 million versus $1.2 million in the year-earlier quarter.

“The fourth quarter was yet again one of the most extraordinary in Ace’s history,” John Venhuizen, Ace president and CEO. “After a year like 2020, we feel blessed to be an essential retailer with strong suppliers, an expansive supply chain and amazing people. Ace employees in our stores and our warehouses withstood the massive surge in demand as consumers channeled a disproportionate share of their discretionary spending into their homes and gardens.”

Ace Hardware bills itself as the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world with more than 5,400 locally owned and operated hardware stores in about 65 countries, plus a number of corporately owned locations.