Do it Best Corp.'s gross sales slipped 3.2% in the fiscal year ended in June to reach $2.38 billion, the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op reported. It delivered the news Sunday during its Fall Market in Indianapolis, where it also announced that that city's Pat Sullivan of Sullivan Hardware was taking over as chairman.

"While the second half of the fiscal year was significantly stronger than the first, it was still not the turnaround many had expected to see, and resulted in a decline in overall sales for Do it Best Corp.," co-op president Bob Taylor said in remarks to the membership. That slip from fiscal 2009's gross sales of $2.46 billion also figured in the 10% decline in rebates paid, to $100.6 million for FY2010 from $111.8 million the previous year.

Sales made through Do it Best's retail service centers declined 4.3%, and sales that went directly from the manufacturer to the member fell 5.2%, Taylor said. Meanwhile, lumber sales rose 7.2%.

Overhead amounted to 2.58% of sales at Do it Best, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. Taylor said technology improvements helped slice warehouse returns and allowances by 11.1%, while route restructures and related moves trimmed the outbound freight expenses by 4.2%.

Sales at INCOM, Do it Best's industrial-commercial division, rose 8.4% as the co-op signed up 60 new members.

Sunday's meeting also marked the last session at which Mike Fujimoto of Hawaii Planing Mill, Ltd., Keaau, Hawaii, served as chairman. He was succeeded by Sullivan.

Tom Lamberth of Russell Do it center, Alexander City, Ala., was elected vice-chair; Tom Brown of American Home and Hardware, Elkton, Md., became secretary; and Frank Blair of Schnarr's Hardware Co., Ladue, Mo., was picked to serve as treasurer.

Joining Do it Best's board this year are Robert Ashley of Triple A Building Center, Canton, N.Y.; and Jim Lehrer of Brownsboro Hardware & Paint, Louisville, Ky.