Ace Hardware Corp. reported record third quarter revenues of $2.0 billion, an increase of 30.7 percent from last year. U.S. same-store-sales were up 28.9 percent; Acehardware.com revenues were up 221 percent. Ace reported record third quarter net income of $98.7 million, an increase of 63.1 percent from last year. Accrued patronage dividend to shareholders of $263.8 million were an increase of 66.9 percent from the first nine months of 2019.
“A 221 percent increase in our digital business and same-store sales growth of 28.9 percent fueled record revenue and earnings in an environment that continues to be very difficult and demanding for both our customers and our associates,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO. “I want to genuinely thank the Ace team for their gutsy performance, their servant hearts and their exceptional fulfillment of their essential calling.”
The 28.9 percent increase in U.S. retail same-store-sales during the third quarter of 2020 reported by the approximately 3,300 Ace retailers who share daily retail sales data was the result of a 12.3 percent increase in same-store transactions and a 14.8 percent increase in average ticket. The heightened importance of both convenience and safety, coupled with the shift in consumer discretionary spending from sectors such as travel and entertainment into home preservation, have distorted demand and driven much of the growth within Ace stores in the U.S.
The Company’s Ace International Holdings, Ltd. (“AIH”) subsidiary had a $19.2 million decrease in wholesale revenue from the third quarter of 2019. This was primarily the result of a $17.5 million decline in sales to AIH’s two largest customers, both of which experienced extensive store closures during the quarter. Ace Wholesale Holdings LLC had a $6.0 million increase in wholesale revenues versus the third quarter of 2019.
Total retail revenues for the quarter were $186.3 million, an increase of $60.0 million, or 47.5 percent, as compared to the prior year third quarter. Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings LLC (“ARH”) were $179.8 million in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of $58.8 million, or 48.6 percent, from the third quarter of 2019. The Westlake Ace Hardware chain experienced a 28.3 percent increase in same-store-sales while the Great Lakes Ace Hardware, Inc. chain grew same-store-sales by 40.5 percent in the quarter. The eleven new California stores opened by Westlake in 2019 contributed $19.7 million of the increase. Westlake and GLA together operated 194 stores at the end of the third quarter of 2020 compared to 183 stores at the end of the third quarter of 2019.
Retail revenues from Ace Ecommerce Holdings LLC were $6.5 million in the third quarter of 2020. This was an increase of $1.2 million, or 22.6 percent, from the third quarter of 2019. New customer acquisitions drove the increase during the third quarter.