Grass Gets Greener For Lowes, Ace, True Value

Looks like the lawncare-and-DIY spirit is strong with America this season, with Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and True Value all posting healthier sales for the quarter. 

While Lowe’s earnings disappointed analysts, sales were solid, rising 4.5% to $17.3 billion in the second quarter, compared with $16.6 billion in the same period last year. And comparable-store sales gained 4.3%, with appliances and outdoor power equipment selling especially well.

And while net earnings for the Mooresville, N.C.-based DIY retailer rose 8.4% to $1.13, slightly below analysts’ forecasts, observers are upbeat about stronger consumer demand. Noting Lowe’s market share gains and its successful promotional strategy, Deutsche Bank, which maintains its “buy” rating on the company, sees “signs of better industry trends and a good monthly cadence… These items also help the Home Depot, and support our idea that the fundamentals in the home center space are as strong as any in retail.”



Meanwhile, smaller rival Ace Hardware turned in its best second-quarter sales on record, with revenues climbing 6.5% to $1.4 billion. (Same-store sales also notched a 6.5% gain.) Net income dropped, though, falling $9 million to $57.5 million. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company, a retailer-owned hardware cooperative, boasted that it won the highest JD Power customer satisfaction in its category for the ninth straight year.

Outdoor living, electrical and lawn and garden made the biggest gains.

True Value, also a retailer-owned cooperative, says its quarterly revenue inched up 0.6% to $431.9 million, with comparable-store sales moving up 3.5%.

But at its Destination True Value stores, its newer and more flexible format, same-store sales climbed 5.6%, indicating that its transformation plan is on track. The new format enables stores to configure themselves according to local demand.

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