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Ace Hardware aims for a total of 170 new stores in 2023

Al Urbanski
With the new stores, Ace approaches a total of 6,000 locations worldwide.

The world's largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative intends to get even larger this year.

Ace Hardware has already cut the ribbons on 100 new stores in the United States in 2023 and the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company promises that 70 more will be in operation by New Year’s Day 2024.

Just last month, it announced plans a new 1.5 million-sq.-ft. distribution facility in Kansas City to meet the needs of its growing business.

“We remain enthusiastically bullish about the continued prospect for new store growth, "said Ace’s president and CEO John Venhuizen.  "I applaud our local Ace owners for the pace with which they've integrated our digital efforts with our physical assets. Seventy percent of orders are picked up in-store and 20% are delivered to customers by our own red-vested heroes, thus further advancing the relevance and necessity of our neighborhood stores."

Ace continues to prove that local, service-based hardware stores remain relevant in a segment dominated by Home Depot and Lowe’s. It has opened more than 1,100 locations in the past five years and last year delivered shareholders a 39% return of $345 million.

Many of those shareholders are the independent operators of its stores, which now number more than 5,800 in 60 countries and all 50 states. Ace’s sales last year topped $22 billion.

Expansion growth has been fueled by current owners opening additional locations, as well as by local-market competitors converting to Ace. The company reports that more than 200 prospective Ace retailers will be attending its fall convention in Orlando in September.

For the 15th time in 16 years, Ace was ranked highest for customer satisfaction among home improvement retailers by J.D. Power in 2022 with a score of 869 out of a possible 1,000. Lowe’s and Menards tied for second place with scores of 849.

The company also operates Ace Hardware Home Services, a collection of local service companies whose professional handymen help homeowners complete home maintenance tasks.

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