DESCRIPTION: Hechinger bills itself as "the world's most unusual lumber yards." The company operates a chain of 26 home centers which specialize in do-it-yourself products (OTC). PROFFITS PER SHARE (FISCAL YEAR ENDED FEB. 2, 1980): $1.60. Dividends: $61,000 (12 cents a share FOUNDED: 1911. TOP EXECUTIVES: John W. Hechinger, president; Richard England, chairman.
Several factors contributed to a substantial earnings increase last year. Sales in stores open two years or more were up sharply. Also, policies initiated during the year to meet both regular and sale prices of all major competitors accounted for much of the gain. The program resulted in lower gross margin percentages but the sales increase more than offset those reductions. The company continued to reduce costs resulting from its new central warehouse and corporate headquarters in Landover, opened in 1978. Last year three new stores were opened as part of a plan to transform Hechingers into a major regional force in specialty retailing. Previously announced expansion plans for 1980 include two new stores in Richmond. The company has under construction a prototype store to be located on the site of its former headquarters in Northeast D.C. Construction is expected to start in the near future on a store to be located in Montgomery County.