What Is Ace Hardware? (A Full Breakdown of This Retail Giant)

Known for selling a range of tools, raw materials, and services for DIY projects, Ace Hardware is one of the leading hardware companies in the United States. That said, Ace Hardware is the world’s largest retail cooperative and has over 5,000 stores in the world.

If you have never been to Ace Hardware before, you may be wondering what the retailer is all about, including what it’s known for, what products it sells, and what makes it unique. I’ve done the digging, and here’s what I’ve found out about Ace Hardware!

What Is Ace Hardware In [currentyear]?

Ace Hardware is a leading hardware retailer operating in America, with its headquarters in Illinois as of [currentyear]. As a retail cooperative, many Ace Hardware stores are operated by independent owners under the company branding. Further, Ace Hardware sells power tools, manual tools, raw materials such as lumber and garden equipment, including grills.

For more information about Ace Hardware, including if Ace Hardware stores are locally owned, if Ace Hardware is a good company, what its slogan is, and more, just keep reading!

What’s Ace Hardware Known For?

Ace Hardware is known for selling a range of hardware-related products and being the largest hardware cooperative in the world.

On its website, Ace Hardware has 16 product departments, including:

  • Grills & Smokers
  • Outdoor Living
  • Lawn and Garden
  • Tools
  • Paint and Supplies
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Building Supplies
  • Hardware
  • Home and Décor
  • Plumbing

Further, Ace Hardware focuses on providing a unique and personal shopping experience for its customers and specialty products that help it compete with larger retailers.

What Makes Ace Hardware Unique?

Ace Hardware is unique from competitors such as Home Depot and Lowe’s because its stores are independently owned and operated.

That said, this means each store can offer customers a more personal shopping experience.

As stores are independently owned, Ace Hardware managers have certain freedoms with how they choose to run their stores, including selecting products that will be popular with customers.

Also, Ace Hardware reportedly uses mystery shoppers within its stores like many retailers.

With that, it uses mystery shoppers sent by corporate cooperatives to ensure the individual stores are up to the Ace Hardware brand standard.

Why Is It Called Ace Hardware?

Ace Hardware is named for the ace fighter pilots of World War I.

That said, the company chose the name Ace Hardware for the pilots as they could overcome all odds to succeed.

Initially, Ace Hardware was named ‘Ace Stores’ when it was founded in 1924, before being renamed the Ace Hardware Corporation in 1931.

When Was Ace Hardware Founded?

In 1924, founders Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke, and Oscar Fisher combined their independent hardware stores into ‘Ace Stores,’ which would eventually become the Ace Hardware brand.

Further, Ace Hardware was initially founded to enable stores to purchase merchandise in bulk to save money and sell their items for the lowest price possible competitively.

What’s The Ace Hardware Slogan?

What's The Ace Hardware Slogan?

The Ace Hardware slogan is “The Helpful Place” and is used both on its website and underneath its logo.

That said, the previous Ace Hardware slogan was “The Helpful Hardware Place.”

As well as its slogan, Ace Hardware is associated with its jingle, “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks.”

Further, the jingle has been used since 1989, after the lyric was changed from “helpful hardware man.”

Also, Ace Hardware has regularly used its jingle within its adverts and had celebrities such as John Madden and Lou Manfredini star in its advertisements as the “helpful hardware man.”

Is Ace Hardware A Good Company?

Yes, Ace Hardware is often considered a good company, and it currently has over 7,500 employees.

Previously, Ace Hardware has been named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to work for because it offers employees health insurance, flexible hours, and vacation time.

Is Ace Hardware A Franchise?

No, Ace Hardware is not a franchise but is a retailer-owned cooperative.

That said, independent owners operate most of the 5,500 Ace Hardware locally owned stores in around 70 countries.

Further, the $5,000 franchise fee that owners pay for the rights to the Ace Hardware branding makes them shareholders in the business, allowing Ace Hardware to continue growing and developing its cooperative.

Can I Buy An Ace Hardware Store?

Yes, if you meet the requirements, you can purchase and run your own Ace Hardware store.

With that, the requirements for owning an Ace Hardware franchise include a net worth of $400,000 and $250,000 liquid capital.

Additionally, the franchise fee for owning an Ace Hardware store is $5,000.

On top of that, other costs for opening an Ace Hardware franchise range from $270,000 to $1,500,000, depending on your location.

How Many Ace Hardware Stores Are There?

Currently, there are over 5,000 Ace Hardware stores in operation, located in 51 states and territories and 2,879 cities.

That said, the state with the most Ace Hardware stores in America is California, which has 361 Ace Hardware stores, or 8% of the total number of stores.

In comparison, the state with the second most Ace Hardware stores is Florida, with 273 locations, followed by Texas with 228 locations.

If you want to know more, you can also see our posts on whether or not Ace Hardware prices match, if Ace Hardware is a franchise, and the Ace Hardware slogan.


Ace Hardware is a leading retailer specializing in a range of DIY products, tools, and materials to help customers complete their projects.

As a cooperative, Ace Hardware has over 5,000 stores in operation independently run by owners.

Further, the Ace Hardware slogan “The helpful place” references the personal touch the stores can give, which its competitors don’t offer.

Also, it costs $5,000 to purchase the franchise rights to Ace Hardware, and additional costs can total up to $1,500,000.

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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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