​​Does Lowe’s Own Ace Hardware? (Not What You Think)

Lowe’s and Ace Hardware are some of the most popular hardware retailers in the United States. Currently, there are around 2,000 Lowe’s stores in operation and 5,000 Ace Hardware stores in the US.

If you’re a fan of hardware retailers, you may be wondering if Lowe’s owns Ace Hardware and how these two companies are similar and different. I’ve done the research, and here’s what I’ve found out!

Does Lowe’s Own Ace Hardware In 2024?

Lowe’s doesn’t own Ace Hardware, nor does Ace Hardware own Lowe’s as of 2024. Lowe’s is owned by Carl Buchan, whereas The SM Group of Companies owns Ace Hardware. However, both Lowe’s and Ace Hardware sell similar products, including tools, raw materials, rent equipment, and more. The primary way Lowe’s and Ace Hardware differ is in their business models.

For more information about if Lowe’s owns Ace Hardware, who owns these two companies, what these two hardware retailers have in common, and more, then just keep reading!

Who’s The Owner Of Ace Hardware?

Ace Hardware is not owned by Lowe’s and never has been in the United States.

Instead, Ace Hardware is a retailer-owned cooperative, with many individual managers owning shares in the company acquired through the $5,000 franchising fee.

Previously, Ace Hardware was owned and operated by founder Richard Hesse until his retirement in 1973, when it became a retailer-owned cooperative.

Initially, Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke, and Oscar Fischer founded Ace Hardware.

Further, these four individuals combined their hardware stores into Ace Stores, which eventually became Ace Hardware.

Who Owns Lowe’s?

Currently, Lowe’s doesn’t have a central owner, as it’s a publicly-traded company without a majority shareholder.

That said, the Vanguard Group Inc owns the largest share (8.5%) of Lowe’s right now.

Also, the current CEO of Lowe’s is Marvin Ellison, who was appointed in 2018.

On top of that, Lowe’s is the second-largest hardware chain in America, beaten only by Home Depot.

Initially, Lowe’s was founded in 1921 in North Carolina, named North Wilkesboro Hardware, by Lucius Smith Lowe.

However, the business was later acquired by James Lowe, who partnered with Carl Buchan to grow the company.

Is Lowe’s Bigger Than Ace Hardware?

Is Lowe's Bigger Than Ace Hardware?

Lowe’s and Ace Hardware are both prominent hardware retailers within America.

However, Ace Hardware is the larger retailer as it has more retail stores than Lowe’s, with over 4,000 currently in operation across America, whereas Lowe’s has around 2,000 stores.

Because Ace Hardware is a retail cooperative, its stores are individually owned, making it easier for Ace Hardware to continue expanding.

However, Lowe’s stores tend to be physically larger than Ace Hardware stores, with the average store comprising 112,000 square feet indoors and 32,000 square feet outdoors.

In comparison, the average size of an Ace Hardware store is significantly smaller at 30,000 square feet, meaning that while there are fewer Lowe’s stores, they’re larger.

How Are Lowe’s And Ace Hardware Similar?

Ace Hardware and Lowe’s are similar stores as they both sell similar products and operate within the DIY market.

For example, popular products sold at Ace Hardware and Lowe’s include:

  • Power tools
  • Hand tools
  • Garden equipment
  • Raw materials (lumber, paint, glass, and more)

Also, both Lowe’s and Ace Hardware offer services within their stores, including:

  • Cutting materials
  • Tools and other equipment available for rent
  • DIY and hardware expertise via employees

How Are Lowe’s And Ace Hardware Different?

The main way Lowe’s and Ace Hardware differ is in regards to their business models.

For example, Lowe’s is part of a larger retail chain, whereas Ace Hardware is a retail-owned cooperative that independent owners can purchase.

Also, while the services and products offered by Lowe’s and Ace Hardware are similar, they do differ.

For instance, Lowe’s no longer offers glass cutting services like Ace Hardware does, but they both sell glass products.

To learn more, you can also see our posts on whether or not Home Depot owns Lowe’s, if Ace Hardware is a franchise, and what is Lowe’s.


Despite what you may think, Lowe’s doesn’t own Ace Hardware and never has; conversely, Ace Hardware doesn’t own Lowe’s.

That said, the two retailers are independent but share the same hardware retail marketplace where they are competitors.

Further, Lowe’s is part of a chain of hardware stores, whereas Ace Hardware is independently owned by local business people.

However, Ace Hardware and Lowe’s offer similar products and services to customers.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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