Ace Hardware ranked among top franchise opportunities on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 37th Annual Franchise 500®
Ace Hardware Corporation, the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world, is pleased to announce it has been ranked No. 1 in its category on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500® list. In addition, Ace Hardware ranked No. 14 overall out of more than 462,500 individual businesses evaluated for the esteemed list, which looks at franchise opportunities across more than 17 different categories.
“Ace Hardware is thrilled to be recognized as a top franchise opportunity on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list,” said Dan Miller, Vice President, Retail Operations and New Business, Ace Hardware Corporation. “Ace Hardware offers entrepreneurs the strength of a brand that is globally trusted and locally embraced, accompanied by a business model that allows you to tailor your product mix to your local market,” Miller said.
In 2015 alone, 158 new Ace Hardware stores opened in the U.S., bringing Ace’s worldwide store count to more than 4,800 retail locations. “With no royalty or franchise fees, plus a new store incentive, and a best-in-class support system for new owners, new Ace Hardware retailers are set up for success from the very beginning,” Miller said.
From the onset, new Ace Hardware store owners are offered retail market surveys and analytics, as well as support for site acquisition, lease negotiation, and interior and exterior store design.
Support doesn’t stop once the store is open for business; Ace has dedicated resources in place to assist with training, day-to-day store operations and advertising. Ace offers its retailers a comprehensive marketing plan that includes four different levels of advertising support, including national, regional, local and one-to-one resources.
Ace retailers also benefit from the camaraderie of networking with fellow Ace store owners within their market and across the nation.
Mark Driscoll recently became part of the Ace Hardware cooperative when he opened Sugar Grove Ace Hardware in Sugar Grove, Ill. “After 36 years running retail grocery chains, I really wanted to break off and start my own business,” Driscoll said. “I have always loved and wanted to stay in retail – but I wanted to find a business opportunity where margins were still lucrative, and service still played a major factor. After six months of looking at many opportunities, Ace looked to me like the perfect fit,” Driscoll commented.
Like many new investors in Ace Hardware, Driscoll was drawn to Ace for myriad reasons, including strong category management and merchandising programs, plus what he referred to as, “best-in-class marketing focused on ‘helpful,’ along with store support, training programs, no franchise fees and fantastic new store incentive programs.” He said with all of Ace’s offerings, “the choice was simple.”
Published annually, the Franchise 500 rankings are determined using an exclusive formula that takes into account objective and quantifiable factors. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. All franchises are given a cumulative score, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500® in ranking order.
For information about investment opportunities with Ace Hardware, visit www.myace.com.
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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 2015, Ace ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Nine Years in a Row,” according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,800 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 currently operate 17 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Shanghai, China; Panama City, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit www.acehardware.com.