Ace Hardware Honors 2018 'Coolest Hardware Stores’
Ace Hardware Corporation recognizes four local stores for customized service.
Ace Hardware Corporation is proud to recognize four local Ace Hardware stores with the company’s seventh-annual “Coolest Hardware Store” awards. Ace Hardware, the world’s largest hardware cooperative, selects only a handful of Ace stores annually to receive this coveted recognition – all based on how well the store differentiates its offerings, services and culture to meet the needs of the community.
The winning stores are Ace Barnes Hardware of Ann Arbor, MI; Camp Abbot Trading Company of Sunriver, OR; Proctor Ace Hardware of Neptune Beach, FL; and Werner Lumber & Ace Hardware of Pine Grove, PA. All of the stores were recently recognized at the Ace Hardware 2018 Pinnacle Conference in Las Vegas. These stores share common traits yet offer local flavor and product selection above and beyond most hardware stores.
“Of the more than 5,000 Ace locations around the world, no two are exactly alike,” said Dan Miller, Vice President of Retail Operations and New Business, Ace Hardware Corporation. “This, along with the service, convenience and quality our customers have come to expect, is just another reason why Ace stands the test of time. The teams at Ace Barnes Hardware, Camp Abbot Trading Company, Proctor Ace Hardware, and Werner Lumber & Ace Hardware exemplify the Ace way – helpful, unique and always changing to meet the needs of the community.”
For nearly 60 years, Ace Barnes Hardware has been serving the Ann Arbor community. The Barnes family is actively involved in day-to-day operations and enjoys working in the store, where they are able to keep in touch with their loyal customers and connect with the local community.
The Barnes family has evolved the store into a specialty housewares destination, while maintaining its traditional hardware roots. Ace Barnes Hardware is known for its selection of outdoor grilling options as well as its helpful experts focused on maintaining and enhancing home interiors. They offer advice on a variety of topics including paint projects, storage solutions, and even ideas for hosting a dinner party. The expanded housewares department which includes distinctive dishes, pots, and home décor items is just one example of the unique offerings at Ace Barnes Hardware.
In addition to serving the community through their store, Ace Barnes Hardware participates in Ann Arbor’s lively sports scene. They also support Mott Children’s Hospital by holding special “Round-Up” campaigns, and participate in Ace Children’s Miracle Network events throughout the year. Ace Barnes Hardware is always willing to donate to events that help support locals in need.
Camp Abbot Trading Company was named after a U.S. Army camp that originated in the community back in 1942. The building entrance is framed with wood and stone from the local area, and the interior has barn wood walls and polished concrete flooring reminiscent of the original Camp Abbot buildings. The exterior road sign was designed to replicate the original highway signs used during the time period.
The Sunriver area is well known for golfing, fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, and many other outdoor activities. The store has a total of 32,000 square feet with 21,000 square feet of retail. It is tailored to serve the needs of the local and resort community with nearly half of the space dedicated to Ace Hardware and the other half featuring a variety of sporting goods, clothing, housewares, gifts and notions. The store also includes a pet and rural farm supply section.
Camp Abbot Trading Company has a unique and localized product mix that includes kayaks, rafts, canoes, Big Green Egg, Stihl, Yeti, Weber, Traeger just to mention a few. The outside area covers over three acres and includes a full rental yard, live goods, a greenhouse, and stone and concrete materials. During the holiday season, the yard becomes a winter wonderland with a large tree and a variety of holiday decorations on display. There is also a full size sleigh that brings Santa Claus to delight customers of all ages.
Owners, Bob and Marcie Mitchell, are very involved in the local community through various service organizations. They are also passionate supporters of their local schools and Children’s Miracle Network.
In June of 2015, Proctor Ace Hardware relocated to a new 23,600 total square foot, beach themed space located just over a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. The store is tailored to serve the local area, meaning they stock their shelves with a very localized and unique product mix.
The unique store décor at Proctor Ace Hardware includes custom signage, fishing décor adorning the fishing and boating section, and an oversized Adirondack chair that provides a perfect backdrop for pictures. It also features several departments not typically found in a neighborhood hardware store.
Some of those departments include; a full service floral emporium, garden center and nursery, fishing and boating, giftware, outdoor coastal furniture, and a large live Christmas tree lot. They also offer in-home services including window replacement and kitchen cabinet re-facing.
Proctor Ace Hardware has a unique and localized product mix that includes custom made signs, coastal décor, imported pottery, skateboards, local hot sauces, a large selection fishing knives, clothing, and patio furniture. They also offer quality national brands such as Stihl, Weber, Big Green Egg, and Yeti.
The owners of Proctor Ace Hardware are all active members of the community. Whether it is participating on the board of the local Rotary Club, sponsoring numerous community organizations and events, cooking on demo grills every weekend at the store, or being a beacon of light during a weather emergency – Proctor Ace Hardware is there to serve the community.
Since the late 1800’s the Werner family has been providing quality building materials and customer service to the Pine Grove community. The original business started out providing coal, feed, and building supplies to the locals. Over 100 years and six generations of Werner’s later, the business continues to thrive.
Werner Lumber & Ace Hardware recently renovated an abandoned sewing factory into a 13,000 square foot, state-of-the-art hardware store. It pays homage to the history of the building with an industrial theme complete with galvanized steel, refurbished brass door hardware, and acid washed brick walls.
The Werner family believes quality and service are the keys to their success. They offer a unique shopping experience and set of services to the local community which includes outdoor power equipment rental, a full service repair shop, and a kitchen design center. Werner Lumber & Ace Hardware offers hardware, housewares, and brands such as Weber, Traeger, Craftsman, Yeti, Echo, and Husqvarna. To better serve its customers, they also have a fleet of trucks ready to deliver anything the customer needs within a 50-mile radius.
The Werner family is very involved in the local community both personally and professionally. Whether it is volunteering opportunities, participating on local committees and boards, sponsoring local sports teams, or supporting organizations that raise funds for local families in need – Werner Lumber & Ace Hardware is dedicated to improving the community it serves.
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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. In 2017, Ace ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Eleven Years in a Row," according to J.D. Power. 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