Ace’s 5,000th store celebrates its Grand Opening
In the small town of Brownwood, Texas resides the oldest hardware store in the state, Weakley Watson Hardware. First opened in 1876, the family owned business has been a staple in the community ever since. Earlier this year though, the family that owned the business decided to close Weakley Watson after 140 years in business. A former resident of Brownwood, Weston Jacobs, who had since moved to Dallas, heard about the news on social media and was devastated that his hometown hardware store would be shuttering – so he decided to purchase it.
As part of purchasing the store, Jacobs decided to affiliate the hardware icon with Ace Hardware, as well as remodel and expand by adding a garden center. Although he was making some changes, it was important for Jacobs to keep all of the store’s existing employees, and to find ways to honor the legacy and history of the store.
“Since we purchased Weakley Watson Hardware, I have constantly been reminded how much the community cares for the store,” said Jacobs. “People come in every day with happy tears in their eyes to thank us for keeping their favorite store alive and well.”
Soon after Jacobs signed the paperwork, he got big news from the Ace Hardware headquarters. His store opening would be the 5,000th Ace Hardware in the world. This accomplishment culminated with a nationwide celebration in August. “I can hardly believe that we were store 5,000, said Jacobs. “I think the most exciting part is that my community gets to identify with it now. It’s fun to see faces light up when I tell them that we are store 5,000. It feels like a big win for the community.”
In one hand, Jacobs holds the keys to the 5,000th Ace Hardware store, and in the other, he holds a special minted penny – a gift from the original owners of the store. The penny was from the store’s 100-year anniversary in 1976, given to him with this advice, “Keep me and you’ll never go broke.” Jacobs keeps the penny close, and noted, “I don’t know that it could be called advice, but it was definitely a vote of confidence that has been much appreciated.”
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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. With more than 5,000 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 operate an expansive network of 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 55 countries. For more information on Ace, visit acehardware.com or the company newsroom at newsroom.acehardware.com.