Ace Hardware Company Description
Ace Hardware was founded in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois by a small group of hardware store owners that merged, thereby changing the retail landscape. Ace gave individual stores power to purchase merchandise in bulk, save money, and buy products at the lowest possible price. The Ace partnership afforded the smaller stores the opportunity to compete effectively with the larger stores. The company's name came from the ace fighter pilots of World War I, who were able to overcome all odds. With spirit such as this, and its dramatic growth following World War II, the company has since expanded to over 5,000 stores around the world that pride themselves on being local and personal.
Richard Hesse, the founder and longtime president retired in 1973. The company was then sold to its retailers and restructured as a cooperative. Ace's headquarters moved to Oak Brook, Illinois and independent retailers became the exclusive shareholders in the company. The strategy was successful, and Ace surpassed $1 billion in wholesale sales for the first time in 1985; it went on to pass $5 billion in 2015. To date, the Ace Hardware Corporation is still owned solely and exclusively by the local Ace retail entrepreneurs.
From the very beginning, Ace has set out to change the hardware retail landscape. They have done so by allowing local, loyal, hard-working men and women, run Ace Hardware stores, which come in all shapes and sizes based on the needs of each unique neighborhood. Ace has small, urban stores, large rural stores and everything in between.
Just like their slogan, "The Helpful Place," Ace stores also prides themselves on giving back to the communities they do business with, and help those in need. Ace has partnered with organizations such as the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals and the American Red Cross during disaster relief efforts.
As of 2016, Ace has over 4,800 locations in 60 different countries, 17 distribution centers throughout the United States and additional facilities in China, Panama, and United Arab Emirates.