Westlake Ace Hardware promotes two execs
Westlake Ace Hardware has announced two executive promotions.
The company promoted current COO Joe Jeffries to president and COO, continuing to support CEO Tom Knox. In addition, Andrew Schmitt will be promoted to the position of VP of operations for Westlake Ace Hardware. Schmitt currently holds the position of director of retail operations – Western Division, for Ace Hardware Corporation.
“I am pleased to announce the promotion of Joe Jeffries to the role of president and COO of Westlake Ace Hardware,” said Tom Knox, CEO, Westlake Ace Hardware. “Joe is a proven leader with an outstanding vision for operations, merchandising and new store development, as well as growth strategy design and implementation.” Knox went on to say, “I’m also excited to welcome Andy Schmitt to the Westlake Ace Hardware team. I worked with Andy extensively during our time at the Ace Hardware corporate headquarters – he will be an exceptional addition to our leadership team.”
Westlake Ace Hardware is the popular name of Ace Retail Holdings, the subsidiary of Oak Brook, Illinois-based Ace Hardware Corp.
Jeffries joined Westlake Ace Hardware in 2014 as the COO. Prior to joining Westlake Ace Hardware, Jeffries was CEO and COO at A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc., a regional chain of arts and crafts retail stores. Before that, Jeffries spent eight years with Office Depot where he held several executive positions that oversaw retail store operations, space planning and visual presentation. He also spent 13 years with Home Quarters Warehouse, where he started his career.
Schmitt joined Ace Hardware in 2010 as Senior Finance Manager. In 2011, he transitioned to the Retail Operations department where he held various positions including Director of Retail Operations – Western Division, Regional Manager (Texas), and Corporate Manager of Retail Operations. Prior to joining Ace Hardware, Schmitt was Director of Finance for Factory Card and Party Outlet, a division of Party City. He also held various financial and procurement roles with Allstate Insurance Company. Schmitt holds a bachelor of science degree in Finance from Illinois State University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.
In June 2017, Westlake Ace Hardware announced the acquisition of two new neighborhood hardware stores, bringing the chain’s total store count to 100 locations.
Publix Q2 sales, earnings rise; cuts stock price
Florida's largest supermarket chain on Tuesday reported higher sales and revenues for its second quarter. Prior to releasing its results, the company cut the price of its stock.
Publix’s sales in the second quarter rose 3.6% to $8.4 billion, from last year’s $8.1 billion. Same-store sales increased 1.6%.
Net earnings increased 3.5% to $495.1 million, compared to $478.2 million in the year-ago period.
Publix’s sales for the first half of 2017 were $17.1 billion, a 1.5% increase over the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales for the first half of 2017 decreased 0.3%.
Net earnings for the first half of 2017 were down 0.9% to $1.05 billion. Earnings per share was unchanged at $1.37 per share.
Publix’s stock price decreased from $39.15 per share to $36.05 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current associates and members of its board of directors. Unlike publicly traded stock, Publix adjusts its own stock price based on what auditors feel the company is valued at.
“This has been a tough quarter for supermarket companies in the stock market,” said Publix CEO & president Todd Jones. “We continue to be focused on growing sales and profits while providing premier customer service.”
Publix is privately owned and operated by its 188,000 employees. Currently it has 1,150 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
Sporting goods giant cuts full-year outlook and jobs amid Q2 loss
After several years of explosive growth, Under Armour is hunkering down amid increased competition and weaker demand. And the brand, best known for its performance edge, is putting a new emphasis on lifestyle.
On Tuesday, Under Armour reported its second consecutive quarterly loss and announced a restructuring program that includes a 2% reduction in its global workforce (approximately 280 jobs), an increased go-to-market speed for its products, and expanded digital capabilities. On an earnings call, CEO Kevin Plank said Under Armour will focus on five areas moving forward: men's training, women's, running, basketball and lifestyle.
"We've represented performance and that gives us permission to go into lifestyle, and we feel that there's a lot of people that are in our space and category right now that don't exactly have the staying power — the ability to be there," Plank said.
In conjunction with its restructuring plan, Under Armour expects to incur estimated charges of approximately $110 million-130 million in fiscal 2017. This includes up to $70 million in cash-related charges, consisting of up to $25 million in facility and lease terminations, $15 million in employee severance and benefits costs and $30 million in contract termination and other restructuring charges.
"We've identified a number of areas to enhance our operational capabilities, drive process improvement and gain greater efficiencies," said Plank. "We remain steadfast in driving and building our brand while shifting our operational focus to become more return-on-investment and cost of capital centric — institutionalizing discipline to deliver more consistent, long-term shareholder value."
Under Armour reported a second-quarter loss of $12.3 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a loss of $52.7 million, or 12 cents per share, in the year-ago period. The loss was not as big as analysts estimates.
Revenue in the quarter rose 9% to $1.1 billion, also better than expected, boosted by international results. In North America – previously Under Armour's main engine of growth – sales growth has become sluggish, with an uptick of only 0.3% in the quarter.
According to Anthony Riva, analyst at GlobalData Retail, Under Armour is suffering from a lack of focus, especially in its core American market.
"While the overall brand remains visible, there is evidence to suggest that it does not have the clarity or a sense of purpose in the way that Lululemon or even Nike does," he said. "Our consumer data indicate that many people are increasingly uncertain of what Under Armour stands for, or which parts of the sports market it specializes in. This is partly a consequence of Under Armour wanting to 'own' many different segments of the sports performance category, but in a softer demand environment where consumers are more selective about what they buy, such a lack of focus is harmful.
Under Armour cut its full-year look. It now expects adjusted earnings for the full year to fall within 37 cents and 40 cents per share, excluding any impacts from restructuring. Analysts had been forecasting the company to earn 42 cents a share in 2017. Revenue is now expected to grow 9- to 11%, lower than its previous forecast of 11- to 12% growth.