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Ace Hardware

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Ace Hardware Corporation
Company typePrivate
retailers' cooperative
IndustryHardware stores
FoundedChicago, Illinois, U.S. (October 25, 1924; 99 years ago (1924-10-25))
  • Richard Hesse
  • E. Gunnard Lindquist
  • Frank Burke
  • Oscar Fisher
  • William Stauber
Number of locations
Over 5,700 (2022)[1]
Area served
Key people
John Venhuizen (President and CEO); Brett Stephenson (Chairman of the Board)
RevenueIncrease US$9.17 Billion (2022)
Increase US$341 million (2022)
Increase US$340.6 million (2022)
Total assetsIncrease US$3.491 billion (2022)
Total equityIncrease US$891.8 million (2022)
Number of employees
12,500 (2022)[2][3]

Ace Hardware Corporation is an American hardware retailers' cooperative based in Oak Brook, Illinois, United States. It is the largest non-grocery retail cooperative in the United States.[4]

Founded on October 25, 1924 as "Ace Stores", the company changed its name to "Ace Hardware Corporation" in 1931. It grew dramatically following World War II, more than tripling its sales between the late 1940s and 1959. After the retirement of longtime president and founder Richard Hesse in 1973, Ace was sold to its retailers, becoming a retailer-owned cooperative. It first reached $1 billion in wholesale sales in 1985 and $5 billion in 2015. As of 2019, it has over 5,200 locations in 60 countries.[1] Ace operates 17 distribution centers in the United States, and additional distribution facilities in China, Panama, and the United Arab Emirates.[5][6]



In 1924, to increase buying power and profits, entrepreneurs Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke, and Oscar Fisher united their Chicago, Illinois, hardware stores into "Ace Stores". The company was named after the ace fighter pilots of World War I, who were able to overcome all odds. Ace Stores was incorporated on March 2, 1928, and the company opened its first warehouse a year later. In 1931, the name was changed to Ace Hardware Corporation.[7][5]

By the end of the 1940s, Ace had wholesale sales of more than $7 million from the 133 stores it supplied. By its 35th anniversary in 1959, the company had more than tripled this figure, with wholesale sales of $24.5 million from 325 stores.[5]

Founder and longtime president Richard Hesse retired in 1973. The company was thereafter sold to its retailers and restructured as a cooperative, moving its headquarters to Oak Brook, Illinois. Independent retailers became the exclusive shareholders in the company. The strategy proved successful, and Ace surpassed $1 billion in wholesale sales for the first time in 1985; it went on to pass $5 billion in 2015.[5][8]

Under CEO Roger Peterson (1986–1995), Ace sales more than doubled from $801M in 1983 to more than $2B in 1993. In October 1994, Ace launched a strategic plan known as "The New Age of Ace" with the objective, by 2000, to improve retail performance, more efficient operations, international growth, and a faster pace for new store openings.

In 2012, Ace Hardware acquired its largest member, Westlake Ace Hardware, for $88 million.[9] The following year, Ace's president and CEO John Venhuizen launched 20/20 Vision, a strategy to use network power to provide better customer service.[10] As of 2016, J. D. Power has ranked Ace Hardware "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores" for ten consecutive years.[11]

In 2014 and 2015, Ace launched its wholesale distribution network through the acquisition of the Portland, Maine, based Emery-Waterhouse and the Spokane, Washington–based Jensen Distribution Services. Later that year, Ace expanded its wholesale operations coast-to-coast with the formation of Emery Jensen Distribution, LLC. This new distribution arm operates under Ace Wholesale Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Ace Hardware Corporation, and is dedicated to serving non–Ace Hardware independent retailers.[12]


Lou Manfredini serves as Ace's "Helpful Hardware Man" and media spokesman.

In 1989, Ace's longtime jingle "Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man" was modified, replacing man with the more inclusive and accurate folks.[13] Celebrities Connie Stevens (from 1974 to 1978) and Suzanne Somers (from 1979 into the early 1980s) starred in TV commercials for Ace Hardware. From 1987 to 2009, former NFL coach and NFL commentator John Madden also starred in Ace commercials.[14] In 2016, Ace introduced a new series of commercials featuring associates addressing customers' needs, and a contextually-appropriate version of the Ace jingle (such as, after a customer asks for a lubricant they think is called 10W40, "Ace is the place for the stuff for squeaking hinges that's called WD-40. Not 10-W40, which is motor oil, that we also sell.")[15]

Home improvement expert Lou Manfredini serves as Ace's "Helpful Hardware Man" and media spokesman.[16]

International operations


In 1990, Ace created a separate division known as Ace International and over the following 20 years, established a presence throughout Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East regions. In 2010, Tim-Br Mart Group acquired licensing rights to the Ace brand name in Canada.[17] Four years later, Rona, Inc., signed an agreement with Ace Hardware for the master license to the Ace brand in Canada.[18] Lowe's completed its acquisition of Rona in May 2016.[19] Rona assigned the Winnipeg office as Ace Canada, formally TruServ Canada, to manage the Ace Brand. As of June 2016, there are 62 Ace-branded stores in Canada.[5] Beginning in 2017, Lowe's Distribution Center began to service Ace Canada retailers.[20] In March 2020, Peavey Mart acquired the master license and began to service the 107 Canadian locations.[21]

Ace Hardware Philippines Inc was founded in 1997, opening its first branch in the Philippines at SM Southmall in Metro Manila.[22] Currently, Ace Hardware has more than 100 branches all over the country.[23][24] ACE Hardware is an affiliate of the SM Group of Companies.

Ace Hardware Malaysia currently has 22 branches nationwide as of January 1, 2022.[25]

PT Aspirasi Hidup Indonesia Tbk (before PT Ace Hardware Indonesia Tbk) (IDXACES), a listed franchisee controlled by local family business PT Kawan Lama Sejahtera [id] (which owns 59.97%), opened the world's largest Ace Hardware shop, 14,695 square metres (158,180 sq ft), in Living World Mall, Alam Sutera, South Tangerang, Indonesia.[26][27] As of January 2023, there were 229 stores located in 56 cities throughout Indonesia.[28]

In 1991, Al-Futtaim Group obtained the licensing rights for ACE in the Middle East, now ACE stores trade in six different locations in the United Arab Emirates alone, holding significant market share in the categories of outdoor furniture, Power Tools, gardening, and do-it-yourself in the UAE.[29]


  1. ^ a b About Us Ace Hardware.
  2. ^ a b "Ace Hardware Customer Service". ACE Hardware. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  3. ^ Ace Hardware Craft.
  4. ^ O'Connor, Claire (March 2, 2015). "How Ace Hardware Turned Corner Stores Into A $4.7 Billion Co-Op". Forbes. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Company History". Ace Hardware. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  6. ^ "Ace Hardware International Implements Blue Ridge Supply Chain Planning" (Press release). Ace Hardware. August 11, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2016 – via Business Wire.
  7. ^ Carter, David E. (September 1, 1993). Living Logos: How Corporations Renew Their Images. Art Direction Books. p. 22. ISBN 978-0881081077.
  8. ^ Besanko, David; David Dranove; Mark Shanley; Scott Schaefer (September 22, 2009). Economics of Strategy. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0470373606.
  9. ^ Vockrodt, Steve (18 December 2012). "Westlake Ace Hardware sells to Ace Hardware for $88M". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Rework America (June 15, 2015). America's Moment: Creating Opportunity in the Connected Age. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0393285147.
  11. ^ "Ace Hardware Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Retailers For a 10th Consecutive Year" (Press release). J.D. Power. 7 June 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Demery, Paul (January 12, 2015). "Ace Hardware builds out its wholesale business beyond Ace stores". Internet Retailer. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Chimoff, Harvey (March 26, 2013). "Ace Hardware Aims to Win with "The Help"". Marketing World Today. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  14. ^ Hiestand, Michael (March 17, 2009). "John Madden retires as football analyst; NBC taps Collinsworth". USA Today. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "Ace Hardware's New Ads Remind People Not to Eat Paint or Confuse WD-40 With Motor Oil". Adweek. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  16. ^ Lazare, Lewis (August 4, 2015). "Ace Hardware spokesman Lou Manfredini joins company's Center for Excellence". Chicago Business Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "Tim-Br Marts Ltd. Acquires Canwell Hardware and Assumes Distribution for its National Dealer Network" (Press release). Timber Mart. October 4, 2012 – via Business Wire.
  18. ^ "RONA and Ace Hardware International Announce Agreement for Master License of Ace Brand in Canada" (Press release). Business Wire. July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  19. ^ "Lowe's completes acquisition of RONA". Lexpert. September 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  20. ^ Klein, Kate (March 6, 2017). "Lowe's Condensing Ace Canada Operations". Hardware Retailing. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  21. ^ "Peavey Mart: Growth and expansion on the back of creativity and hard work". Retail Council of Canada. 2020-11-10. Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  22. ^ "Company Overview". Jobstreet.
  23. ^ "Ace Hardware List of Branches" (PDF). BDO Unibank.
  24. ^ "A 100 Store Story Of Ace Hardware — Davao Corporate". 2024-03-25. Retrieved 2024-03-25.
  25. ^ "Ace Hardware Branches". Ace Hardware Malaysia.
  26. ^ "ACE hardware to open 15 new outlets in Indonesia". Retail in Asia. July 10, 2014. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  27. ^ "read - IMQ - Indonesia Market Quotes". imq21.com. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  28. ^ "Ace Hardware (ACES) Bakal Buka 15 Toko pada 2023". investor.id (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  29. ^ "About ACE UAE". Ace UAE. Retrieved 25 January 2019.