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True Value blames strategic plan for loss


An “intense focus” on brand-building and improved product assortments led True Value to post a loss in the first quarter.

The retailer-owned hardware cooperative posted a net loss of $1.7 million, down $2.6 million compared to net margin of $0.9 million from a year ago. The company said the net margin decrease was driven by planned investment expense incurred in connection with the implementation of the strategic plan and was partially offset by a sales 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 President and CEO John Hartmann. “Not only did our company’s revenue increase, we saw an uptick in nearly all of our product categories.”

The retailer-owned hardware cooperative reported gross billings of $494 million for the quarter ending April 4, up 7.4% or $33.9 million from the same period a year ago. Revenue was $353.8 million, an increase of 6.7% or $22.3 million. Same store sales were up 5.3% in the quarter, with increases in 11 of 12 regions of the country and in all of the cooperative’s nine product categories, led by Seasonal, Farm Ranch Auto & Pet and Lawn & Garden.

During the first quarter, True Value continued to grow its square footage and retailer base. In the three-month period, the company added 256,000 square feet of relevant retail space, continuing its commitment to grow Destination True Value and other relevant formats in its network.

True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s largest retailer-owned wholesale hardware cooperatives with gross billings of over $2 billion and revenue of $1.5 billion in 2014. The True Value cooperative includes approximately 4,500 independent retailer locations worldwide.

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