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Ace Hardware reports record first quarter results

Oak Brook, Ill. — Ace Hardware Corporation has reported record first quarter 2021 revenues of $2.0 billion, an increase of $601.4 million, or 42%, from the first quarter of 2020. Net income was $105.4 million for the first quarter of 2021, an increase of $69.2 million from the first quarter of 2020.

“Same-store sales growth of 29.9%, 51 new stores, a 220% increase in our digital business, and increased retail inventory depth drove the best first quarter in Ace’s history,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO. “Elevated demand, limited supply, and a ridiculously disrupted global supply chain continue to create a difficult environment operationally. My sincere thanks to the Ace team and our local retailers for their rigor to protect their people and passion to safely serve their community.”

The 29.9% increase in U.S. retail same-store-sales during the first quarter of 2021 reported by the approximately 3,400 Ace retailers who share daily retail sales data was the result of a 12.3% increase in same-store transactions and a 15.7% increase in average ticket. First quarter results follow a Q4 39% jump in revenues.

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Revenues

Consolidated revenues for the quarter ended April 3, 2021 totaled $2.0 billion. Total wholesale revenues were $1.9 billion, an increase of $551.1 million, or 41.8%, as compared to the prior year first quarter. Wholesale merchandise revenues to new domestic stores activated from January 2020 through March 2021 contributed $40.1 million of incremental revenues during the first quarter of 2021, while wholesale merchandise revenues decreased $9.6 million during the first quarter due to domestic stores whose memberships were cancelled. Wholesale merchandise revenues to comparable domestic stores increased $480.5 million for the quarter. Increases were seen across all departments with outdoor power equipment, grilling, power tools and paint showing the largest gains. The Company’s Ace International Holdings, Ltd. subsidiary experienced a $12.0 million increase in wholesale revenue versus the first quarter of 2020, while Ace Wholesale Holdings LLC reported a $15.5 million increase in wholesale revenues from the first quarter of 2020.

Total retail revenues for the quarter were $162.7 million, an increase of $50.3 million, or 44.8%, as compared to the prior year first quarter. Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings LLC were $157.1 million in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of $49.0 million, or 45.3%, from the first quarter of 2020. The Westlake Ace Hardware chain experienced a 36.5% increase in same-store-sales while the Great Lakes Ace Hardware, Inc. chain grew same-store-sales by 48.9% in the quarter. The new stores opened by Westlake and GLA in the prior year contributed $9.1 million of the increase. Westlake and GLA together operated 209 stores at the end of the first quarter of 2021 compared to 191 stores at the end of the first quarter of 2020. Retail revenues from Ace Ecommerce Holdings LLC  were $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of $1.3 million, or 30.2%, from the first quarter of 2020.

Ace added 48 new domestic stores in the first quarter of 2021 and cancelled 15 stores. The company’s total domestic store count was 4,680 at the end of the first quarter of 2021, which was an increase of 114 stores from the first quarter of 2020. On a worldwide basis, Ace added 51 stores in the first quarter of 2021 and cancelled 16, bringing the worldwide store count to 5,498 at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

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