In the first quarter ended April 4, hardware cooperative True Value Co. generated a net loss of $1.7 million versus earnings of $900,000 in the year-earlier quarter. Wholesale comparable store sales, on a gross billings basis, gained 6.1%, the company reported, while retail comps advanced 5.3% in the quarter.
True Value enjoyed comp increases in 11 of the 12 regions of the United States where it operates and in all of the cooperative’s nine product categories, led by seasonal, farm ranch auto and pet and lawn and garden.
True Value posted an increase in gross billings of 7.4% to $494 million with revenue up 6.7% to $353.8 million.
Planned investment expense incurred in connection with the implementation of the strategic plan drove the year-over-year earnings decline, which was partially offset by the revenue increase.
“Our strategic plan is already driving positive change across the cooperative. Our first quarter sales performance shows solid year-over-year improvement, reflecting our intense focus on relevant product assortments and brand building,” said True Value president and CEO John Hartmann.
In the quarter, True Value added 256,000 square feet of retail space in order to grow Destination True Value and other relevant formats in its network, according to the company. The True Value cooperative includes 4,500 independent retailer locations worldwide operating under the banners True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply.