Ace Hardware Franchise Overview
About Ace Hardware
For more than 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. In 2016, Ace ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Ten Years in a Row," according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,900 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 17 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Ningbo, China; Colon, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries.
Ace Hardware is a hardware store that was formed in 1924 by Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke and Oscar Fisher in Chicago, Illinois. The company became a cooperative in 1973. By 1976 Ace became a retailers' cooperative. Independent owners became dealer-owners and shareholders in the company. Because it's a co-op and not a franchise, each Ace store looks different. Ace has placed a focus on Ace stores exhibiting some similar characteristics, such as signaled and core product lines. The Vision 21 program, as this is called, is aimed to make all stores look identical. This is causing much resistance from the smaller stores because of the cost of the program.
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