US NEWS T he respective Boards of the Interna- tional Hardware Association (IHA) and Global Home Improvement Network (GHIN) have announced the IHA, representing hardware associations globally, is set to merge with the GHIN as of October 1, according to a recent Hard- ware Retailing report. The merger will create a mega network of retailers committed to the cause of help- ing consumers all over the world improve their homes and see GHIN represent all global home improvement retailers, as well as all IHA members. Currently GHIN has 216 members glob- ally operating in 74 countries with over 32,000 stores and members’ sales in excess of $390 billion.Themerge will see it also rep- resent the IHA with thousands of hardware stores through the country associations of Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and the US. The IHA will remain an independent network administered by GHIN, but with its own president, according to the report. EDRA/GHIN President, Sergio Gir- oldi, said he was delighted to welcome the International Hardware Association into the global network. “This merger will strengthen our net- work and raise our profile internationally. We, the home improvement retailers and the hardware stores, all have our place in the home improvement retail community, sharing the same values and offering con- sumers the best possible service and safe, quality products,” Mr Giroldi said. EDRA/GHIN represents 216 home improvement companies operating over 32,000 stores in 74 countries currently. IHA President Jean-François Dubost also added, “if we have learned anything over the past 18 months, it is that our industry is stronger when we come together to share interests, ideas and concerns with other part- ners throughout the channel. It is in this spirit that we welcome this new alliance and feel confident that the interests of our member organizations will be well represented on the global stage.” For over 20 years the GHIN Network has successfully brought members together and learned from each other on strictly non- competitive issues, while defending mem- bers’ interests , according to the Network. GHIN is committed to working closely with HIMA, the Home Improvement Man- ufacturers Association, and with Global Trade Fairs to give retail members as much support and information as possible so they may offer the best possible products and ser- vice to consumers all over the world to im- prove their homes, according to the report. A fter posting a record-breaking first quarter, Ace Hardware continues to shatter revenue numbers in the second quarter of 2021. According to a Hardware Retailing re- port, Ace revenues for the second quarter were up 8.2 per cent from last year at $2.5 billion, an increase from the $2 billion in revenue the company recorded in the first quarter, with outdoor power equipment, grilling, basic electrical and hand tools showing the largest gains in revenues for Ace. Ace Hardware President and Chief Executive Officer, John Venhuizen, said the second quarter vastly exceeded expectations. “Not only did we positively comp 2020’s unprecedented surge in business, our two- year stacked growth for the quarter is up 46 per cent in revenue and 116 per cent in net income from 2019,”. Net income in the quarter was $116 million, down 16.5 per cent from last year due to write-downs of an excess of personal protective equipment, higher warehouse labor costs and a nonrecurring $6.9 million income tax benefit recorded in 2020 due to changes in tax laws, accord- ing to the report. While the average transaction size was up 7.1 per cent and revenue from acehardware. com was up 13.9 per cent, US retail same- store sales also rose 1.2 per cent. Ace added 55 new domestic stores in the second quarter of 2021, bringing the company’s total domes- tic store count to 4,729, while internationally, Ace added 61 stores for a total of 5,550 stores worldwide, according to the report. IHA to merge with Global Home Improvement Network Another record-breaking quarter for Ace