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The increase reflects additional inventory investments made in the first quarter of , partially offset by a reduction in inventory balances in the second quarter as a result of the strong sales volumes. We still anticipate growth in per store inventory in the remainder of as we resume our inventory enhancement initiatives, and this will moderate the increase in our AP percentage over time. As Jeff previously discussed, we resumed deferred CapEx projects, which were on pause due to the impact of COVID and will continue to adjust our CapEx plan as appropriate given the current environment.
Moving on to liquidity and capital structure. We continue to have ample liquidity as a result of the measures we took earlier in the year to preserve capital and liquidity, coupled with the extremely strong cash flow performance in the second quarter. As one of the measures to preserve liquidity at the onset of COVID, we temporarily suspended our share buyback program in the middle of March.
We continue to evaluate business conditions and liquidity. And as a result of this evaluation, resumed our share repurchase program on May 29, Year-to-date, we've repurchased 1. Subsequent to the end of the second quarter and through the date of our press release, we repurchased 0.
As we evaluate our liquidity, leverage, use of capital and share repurchase program moving forward, we will continue to prioritize maintaining our strong financial position, including the investor-grade rating on our public debt. We have a long history of conservatively managing our balance sheet and will continue to take prudent steps to ensure the long-term health and stability of the company.
Before I open up the call to your questions, I'd like to thank the O'Reilly team for the resilience they've shown over the last several months and for their continued dedication to our company and our customers. This concludes our prepared comments. And at this time, I'd like to ask Bridgette, the operator, to return to the line, and we'll be happy to answer your questions. Congrats on the execution.
And clearly, over history, that's been the main driver of this industry. So when you talked about strength in apparel -- or appearance and accessories, was that a large factor in the outperformance? And could you kind of help us try to think through or parse through what might be onetime or -- versus sustainable growth in the industry?
So I'll start that and let see if Jeff or Tom want to add on. So first, on appearance and accessory, that was -- that's not typically a real strong category for us. When you think about car care, cleanup, waxes, the accessories and trinkets that you can buy in our stores are, frankly, online. Those are typically not real strong sellers for us. And what we found this quarter is those type items as well as performance-related items, hobby-related items, items people are tuning up, their hot rides, their street rides, the cars that may have been covered up in the backyard or in the garage for a number of years, and we've seen a spike in sales in some of those categories that are typical -- typically maybe average performing categories.
And we think part of the reason for that is just consumers are -- they have more time. And in a lot of cases, they have more discretionary money to spend because they're not doing a lot of the peripheral family activities that they might have done in prior years because of closures, sporting events not taking place, things like that. Tom, did you want to add anything? We spoke to that particular set of categories because it acted unusually for what we usually see in downturns, as Craig talked about.
When we look at downturns, we look at people deferring new vehicle purchases and when we look historically, what we see is people catching up on unperformed or underperformed maintenance. And that was the biggest driver, we feel like in the outperformance for the quarter. But as we look to next year, I'm not trying to get ahead of ourselves, but how do you think about growth on top of the growth that you've seen this year just because we've never seen anything really like this in history.
So just anything you can say to keep what we're trying to think about next year and what the growth to compare this year means for next year? This is an unprecedented time, and the results are quite dramatic, how they've turned around. We've got a lot of water to go under the bridge. And we're still in the middle of this pandemic. So for us to speculate on next year, I think, would not be appropriate at this time.
Congrats, guys. Great job. So we anticipate that it will ramp up our staffing to meet the demand. We're going to continue to detail, manage that on a day-to-day basis. And the biggest discretionary for us is store payroll, and I'll let Jeff speak to that. And when the pandemic hit and we have a drastic drop in volume in mid-March that persisted for a few weeks, we obviously had to react to that and adjust our payroll accordingly as we always would in seasonal downturns or things like that.
I mean this was more dramatic than we would normally see. So we obviously implemented the procedures that we have in place to manage our payroll, starting with the hiring freeze and just not hiring. And then adjusting hours based on the demand in the store, adjusting part-time hours, reducing overtime, transfer people between stores, I mean, all the things that we would normally do to manage our payroll appropriately for the volume of the business.
I think we've run our stores just on a very, very tight budget over the last several weeks. And we have got to get back, as Jeff said in his prepared comments, that some of the fundamentals on store appearance and some of the things that, frankly, have suffered over the past few weeks. We've already started that to make sure that our stores, appearance and the customer experience is as high as it ever has been. And just one follow up on investments in labor and in the stores.
I mean, it's still early in election season, but there are some policies getting more airtime than others, one of which is the potential increase in the corporate tax rate. So back in , '18 when Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect, O'Reilly invested a lot in -- of those tax savings into wages and technology. But if tax rate goes up, do you think there are areas where the company can make some reductions or cuts to mitigate those effects?
To the extent that the tax system changes, that's out of our control. And we need to be focused on how we continue to generate increasing operating profit dollars. Could you maybe bucket what you think -- who you think the bigger donors were. And obviously, a lot of stress for smaller parts distributors during the quarter.
Do you think we've seen any real change in the population of some of those smaller players? We've seen a little bit, but nothing material. As far as market share gain, Bret, it's really hard to say until the next few weeks, and we see what all of our competitors report, it's hard to tell what their sales look like.
We know our sales were strong. We're very, very pleased with the performance of our store and DC teams to drive the results that we drove this quarter. We feel like we've taken some market share, but we won't know for sure until we see the earnings releases. When you look at big box specifically, that comment is centered around myself and others have seen a lot of product outages, not necessarily only in the auto parts sector, but just the big box and the pure e-commerce players have struggled somewhat over the past several weeks due to pandemic.
And they've had challenges staying in an in-stock position, and we're very, very proud of our supply chain because we've been able to maintain an in-stock position both for our brick-and-mortar and our online customers and we've seen some shift. It's no secret that our e-commerce business, our online business, has improved through this pandemic as it has for most retailers, but the trend has continued that the majority of that volume continues to end up in our store, either in a pickup in-store, shift to store or curbside pickup that we've implemented.
So I think that a lot of consumers have regained confidence in some of the brick-and-mortar players, especially those that have strengthened their supply chain, and it performed really well through the pandemic. Well, my second question was online, so you already answered it.
So my second question is going to be regional performance. I guess could you give us a feeling for the spread between the weakest markets and the strongest markets and where they were? And we -- as we talked about in the prepared comments, I mean, we saw pressure across the entire chain starting in mid-March, and it persisted for several weeks.
But then when the stimulus checks started hitting there in the third week of April, I mean we've seen a dramatic uptick in our business, really all across the country and in all markets. And it really exceeded our expectations on both sides of the business. And as we've mentioned several times in our prepared comments, I mean, demand is one thing, but we're extremely proud of the way our team members have really stepped up to the plate and taking care of our customers, satisfying their needs through these challenging times.
You talked about robust trends in May and June in the commercial side of the business. Can you maybe define what exactly robust is? And can you also talk about how the gap between DIY and do-it-for-me evolved over the months of the quarter and if you could, into July? What I would tell you is, as we said in our prepared comments and on our prior call, I think everyone realizes that April started out really slow.
And as the government subsidies kicked in, I would say that the DIY side of our business ramped up much more quickly than the DIFM side of our business. I would tell you that for April, May and June, overall, we comped positive in all 3 months, with May and June being stronger of the 3 months, and those trends have continued into July. The DIY business really took off as soon as the stimulus checks started.
The professional business really didn't start to turn around in a dramatic fashion until the stay-at-home orders started to lift. So inherently, there was a narrowing of those 2 throughout the quarter, but both remain very strong. And then a follow-up on the gross margin. You mentioned some comments around the benefits of the tariff price increases being fully baked in through 2Q and had potential headwinds ahead on LIFO. So ex the potential leverage from very strong comp trends in the cost of goods line, how are you thinking about those other components?
Will they -- do you expect them to be a net headwind in the back half of the year? We're always trying to reduce our acquisition costs through scale and sourcing and to some extent, private label. So that will be pending. When we look at the second quarter itself, when we looked at our plan, we were anticipating continuing to get a LIFO benefit in the second quarter. But because of negotiated price decreases, we actually offset that and had a headwind.
So that was a headwind to margin for the quarter, but with an annuity attached to it as we have lower acquisition costs. Otherwise, we would have had a higher year-over-year improvement in gross margin, driven by the higher DIY mix and the leverage on the distribution cost.
When we look forward, we would anticipate pricing -- acquisition prices to be relatively stable through the end of the year and our expected plan benefit was less as we theoretically sold through the pre-tariff goods. So we'd expect to be relatively neutral for the remainder of the year.
It sounds like -- and I'm going to put words out there. It sounds like you're running double digit. Do you have a sense where the market is running and how much market share you're taking in that channel? As Greg mentioned earlier, our competitors haven't reported, although, I guess, one's reporting now.
We're out on the street calling on customers, trying to take care of our customers when the market is difficult. And as Greg talked about, the strength of our supply chain and we're able to provide parts that perhaps normal supplier can't come up with. That's a benefit for us and ability to get our foot in the door and build long-term strength.
We're happy with how our business is trending. We continue to call in our shops in a very safe way with the safety protocols and then try to help them through this, which has been a difficult environment for them also. I would just add to Tom's comments on really the strength of the supply chain availability. As you know, availability is key to grow in the professional business.
And we've always prided ourselves and our service level's a big part of that being availability. And when you have the part on the shelf and maybe somebody else doesn't, that maybe was a primary supplier, you could move up in the call list in that shop. No, that makes sense. I think it's important in that, right, miles driven is down a lot and understanding, let's say, where you're running versus the industry.
Maybe could tell you how sustainable things may be. And that leads into my next question, which is you mentioned you're cautious for the rest of the year, and it does seem like you exited about the same level.
It seems like double digits in both sides of your business. And so I'm curious if the cautiousness is, look, we just don't know what we're going to get in terms of stimulus. Because in theory, if we do, that should continue some of the momentum and maybe the pent-up demand side, which is harder to understand how that flows through. So I just want to connect the dots on the cautious comments despite exiting on your own strength. Simeon, one thing that is for sure is the trends we're seeing won't last forever.
We know this is not typical. It's a unique time for the world right now and it's not going to last forever. If you look at this on -- you talk about miles driven and will it persist, if you break that down to the short term and long term, my opinion on that is long term, I think miles driven will come back. I think people will drive their cars more miles again, as they've done in the past.
I think there's a lot of consumers that are still concerned about mass transit systems from a health and safety perspective. You read about more and more people moving to the suburbs and out of the major cities, which is better for miles driven, more automobile traffic, less mass transit.
So I think all those things long term will support growth in miles driven. The caveat to that is from a short-term perspective, none of us know what's going to happen with stimulus, none of us know if there'll be another round of shelter-at-home orders in some of these markets, all of those things would potentially negatively impact miles driven for the short term. So because of the degree of uncertainty with all that, that's the reason for our cautiousness and called that out in our prepared comments.
And wondering if you'd talk about what you're seeing across your commercial customer base. So I think many of them were essential, but I'm sure there was some disruption over the last few months as well. Some cases, furloughs and in some cases now labor shortages. So I'm just curious, what are you seeing? Is that a limiting factor at all on the commercial side? I'd just love to get your thoughts on that. This is Jeff. I'll speak to that one.
No doubt it was early on when the pandemic broke out and all the shelter-in-place orders were in place. I mean there were shops that reduced hours, that there were some shops in some of the markets that actually closed during that period. And obviously, there's been a shortage of techs in some shops. But it seems like -- I guess this is kind of a broad statement that, that has rebounded coming into May and June.
Now with these new outbreaks, COVID outbreaks in several states, we are hearing some comments about maybe some shops have slowed back down just a little bit from where they were when it kind of opened back up. And then just to follow-up on that point around the shops and what's happening now.
I mean we're hearing from a few places where it seems like maybe the shops have slowed down just a little bit. I've heard this multiple times from our sales teams as some of these shops are saying in those markets, I think there's still some degree of concern for safety with taking your car to a shop, perhaps for some of the tasks that you might want to tackle at home, oil changes, breaks, things like that, where you may have traditionally taken that car to a shop for those jobs.
Now you got more time to perform those tasks, and you're just not totally comfortable yet dropping that car off and having someone you don't know inside your car from a safety perspective. I think there's still some degree of concern there. And Tom, if you were to take what you've seen from a category perspective and overlay it with , , does it look identical, suggesting that, that period is a good parallel for how to think about demand for the aftermarket from here? Or are there any major differences?
And the reason we brought out appearance and -- appearance-type products is that's very unusual. Compared to , , appearance and performance and all of those more discretionary categories in took a big hit and maintenance and failure parts went up quite a bit. So that's different this time. I think it has to do with the stimulus and the people staying at home. I mean if you look back in '08 and '09, we thought consumers extending service interval is delaying some of these repairs that they could.
We haven't seen the same thing this time around. And I wish we had a great answer for that. We just -- with the uncertainty of where this pandemic goes from here, it's really difficult to answer that, Michael. And then kind of related to that, do you plan on bringing back some of those same employees? Were any of them furloughed? Or do you kind of have to start fresh and go out and hire and train people? And obviously, that takes a while to kind of ramp them up on a productivity basis.
Scot, I'll start with that. Tom, do you want to chime in? We've already -- I mean, there's, again, we're talking about something that happened 90 days ago. And when the pandemic hit and the business took a dramatic downturn, we had to react to that. And we had to adjust our staffing by store to what the sales demand was. And we've been cautious as businesses ramped back up. We had no idea how long this would last.
And it's really uncertain times. And as we've seen, week by week, as we've seen the business, the demand continue to stay in place, we've ramped back up our staffing accordingly. No doubt, maybe not as much head count as we normally put in, knowing that this is unsustainable, as Greg mentioned, and we've leveraged over time, things like that to maybe compensate for head count. But we'll always -- we've always managed our business for the long run and staffed to provide the customer service that's going to grow our business and build those relationships, and we'll continue to do that.
I think sometimes we tend to underestimate the task at hand here. When you look at our stores that are operating shorthanded and delivering the sales volumes there, it just speaks to the professionalism in our stores, and that's where we've built our success on. And so we've got the same situation in our distribution centers. Our distribution centers are operating shorthanded. They're working long hours. They're working weekends in a lot of cases to keep up with demand in our stores.
And that's just not sustainable long term. We've got to put some more labor dollars back into our stores and DCs. If we look at the employment environment, pre-COVID, unemployment was extremely low, got higher -- much higher now.
And we're going to be very selective in who we bring back or who we hire to make sure that we're building the core full-time professional parts people we need to win business. I will now turn the call back over to Mr. Greg Johnson for closing remarks. We'd like to conclude our call today by thanking the entire O'Reilly team for their continued selfless dedication to our customers.
I'd like to thank everyone for joining the call today, and we look forward to reporting our third quarter results in October. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today's conference. Thank you for participating. You may now disconnect. A Green MLA wants to know why only girls got free copies when the provincial government distributed a book about famous women politicians on P.
The page book is about the five women in the s who held the position of premier, Opposition leader, lieutenant-governor, speaker and deputy speaker at the same time. That level of concentration of political power for women had not happened before in Canada, and it has not happened since. Green MLA Steve Howard rose in the legislature Thursday to ask Natalie Jameson, the minister responsible for the status of women, why the government felt the lessons of the book were only for girls.
More from CBC P. Myriam Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien. The company says it has been advised by the court that the Wilks Brothers' appeal of the final order approving the plan has been dismissed. Texas-based Wilks Brothers had opposed Calfrac's recapitalization plan and offered its own hostile takeover offer as an option. However, the company's debtholders and shareholders instead opted for management's plan that will see holders of Calfrac's senior unsecured notes swap debt for shares, leaving existing shareholders with a reduced stake in the company.
An Alberta court issued a final order this month approving the company's plan. Calfrac says it intends to complete its recapitalization transaction as soon as possible. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. The agency says products with the expiry dates of Dec. People are advised not to consume, serve or sell the eggs. The agency says no illnesses have been reported from the recalled products. The Canadian Press. Then in she got up some courage and decided to cold email the USPS press office.
They responded immediately and agreed to give her and a film crew unprecedented access to the inner workings of this charitable program. Every year, hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa go through the USPS system, asking for everything from toys to food. The program, which has been running in some form for over years, takes letters from kids in need, matches them up with donors and helps make Christmas wishes come true.
In other words, they're wishes that don't necessarily fit in a box. Sometimes there were a few, sometimes 20, sometimes To protect the privacy of the families, the postal service had to act as liaison at first. Then, the waiting game began. Time was ticking. But calls started coming in and eventually they wound up with more than they could use. She hopes the film will both help spread the word about the program and inspire people to adopt a letter.
After a hectic summer, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority GSCA is considering increasing its parking fees to deal with an increase in wear-and-tear on its properties. Revenue generated from parking fees is allocated to trail and grounds maintenance for the 28, acres of natural areas that GSCA owns across both Grey and Bruce Counties.
Funds also contribute to facilities such as washrooms, bridges, parking areas and pavilions. Ferguson said that staff have explored how parking is being handled and compared rates in the surrounding municipalities and other conservation authorities. GSCA staff have recommended the conservation authority roll-out a similar membership program as those individuals who live in the watershed have already made a contribution to the authority through their municipal levy.
According to Conservation Ontario, municipal levies make up 53 per cent of typical funding for conservation authorities, with 35 per cent of funding being self-generated through initiatives, such as parking fees.
It really makes an attempt to build some community around some of these properties. In terms of who will be eligible for the GSCA membership, staff and board members will be further defining the required criteria, as well as what proof of residency will be required when looking to purchase a membership.
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Most Canadians could get vaccine by Sept. Biden's win means some Guantanamo prisoners may be released. What is Triller? How to live stream Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. Rihanna reveals the secrets to her no-makeup makeup look. Recipes for extra stuffing. Canada sets daily record with nearly 6, new virus cases. Here Are The 5 Best Moments. OSU-Illinois canceled after Buckeyes' virus cases. Gift guides: A Christmas gift guide for difficult people.
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