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Retail sales were -- -- nicely from march reaching more than 418.
Billion dollars America's been immoral cars gasoline and home right.
That's why we have Jeff Flock today with the CEO of the company itself poised to cash in on all this and do it yourself -- -- Jeff take it away.
They have been cash and -- ace hardware the place I've got the helpful hardware CEO ray Griffith fifty seven years old a graduate of Southern Illinois University.
This approach rookies.
And we are in one of the classic all ace hardware this is a place called folders in Hinsdale Illinois outside Chicago -- the corporate headquarters retail sales those numbers had to make you happy.
Yes so far we've head of real good first quarter carrying over Monday April Jeff and so we're pretty excited about this year in this business.
Consumers are reacting to -- stores so it's all been good I got two things one firstly got to ask you about these retail sales to some of it's driven by outdoor stuff and in fact we walked back appear like -- grills -- got.
You know while garden stuff have you been concerned because the springs been so warm that you pulled sales forward and that were gonna get -- Get a blip down next time.
-- what they honest answer to that is we're not real sure because this has been an early spring certainly across the midwest in the upper midwest that we're not used to.
Spring kicks in in February in Florida and Texas but not so much in Illinois.
But we think it's gonna have legs all the way through the summer substance could tell me about ace hardware because a lot of people don't understand how this works.
This is the largest hardware cooperative.
In the world you've got 4600.
And you don't own these stores correct that's correct the company -- -- -- any stores and so we do were called a cooperative to your point.
The basic premise of that is we provide services product and operating methods to our retailers.
We make a little bit of money off of that we use some of that for expenses what's left over we rebate back to our shareholder.
And are only shareholders are each retailer I was -- it's a true entrepreneurial deal.
It's truly entrepreneurial dear -- Are retailers have a lot of input into the company and the products that we develop for them in the methods and operating the systems that we developed for them.
What are you hearing from these retailers as we go forward to so many people concerned about to -- -- just had some soft job news.
You know you've done well we put the numbers up.
And look at home improvements numbers from Commerce Department we've got a graphic that -- shows it's been taken up.
Since -- last year I mean it's all been positive but -- we hit a slow patch here.
I don't think so mean we think show the helpful hardware place ace hardware stores offer a service knowledge advice -- most.
That's not found another retail outlets.
And so we've enjoyed that relationship with our consumers were were our stores are in our communities and neighborhoods.
We've seen an uptick certainly with consumer confidence I think so they're spending a little more money and -- is the place.
Are you worried at all about.
The way things are in terms of government now you've got to put presidential election coming up and it's always a tough one I'll ask you -- you're gonna endorse and -- -- really put you on the spot.
You know -- In the situation we're in right now are you worried that we're gonna get a -- a soft spot in in growth.
I think for unlike every other consumer and America I think I'm scared to death of the gridlock that we have and our political system right now.
And the fact that our politicians -- -- Dresser issues but that will not stop good entrepreneurial company and our -- from servicing the needs of our consumers.
Keep in mind our consumers are basically fixing upgrading and taking care of their homes.
And that's a sweet spot for us that's going to continue on as far as I can tell for.
Generations to come and real quick before we get away I wanna put up that is the the map that shows growth -- you think of being the quintessential American company well.
Well we've had about a 14% increase overseas last year.
Saudi Arabia is an example of a place where we're growing Indonesia's an example of a place where we're growing and lots of developing countries where we're signing.
New license agreements with people that are gonna develop those countries so it's been very vibrant very good -- Griffith the present CEO of ace hardware largest hardware cooperative in the world.
He'll be with us -- -- to talk about housing next -- we got some housing numbers out today and of course that's very important to his business -- well exclusively today on the Fox Business Network.